Kennedys to merge with Scottish firm Simpson Marwick

Kennedys has confirmed it is to merge with Scottish law firm Simpson & Marwick on 1 November.

Talks have been ongoing between the firms since last year, when Kennedys first mooted its desire to find a foothold in Scotland (21 November 2012). Scottish regulations still do not allow non-lawyer partners and part of the delay is believed to have been down to Kennedys being an legal disciplinary practice (LDP) with three non-lawyer partners.

Simpson & Marwick will be known as Kennedys Simpson & Marwick in Scotland for a period after the merger, before dropping the name completely and becoming Kennedys. The residential property business will continue to trade as Simpson & Marwick indefinitely.

The projected turnover of the combined firms is predicted to exceed £160m by the end of the current financial year. Meanwhile the merger will take the total number of partners at Kennedys to 220 and the total number of staff to over 1,500 worldwide.

Kennedys’ senior partner Nick Thomas said: “There have been a number of clients for whom, and cases on which, Kennedys and Simpson & Marwick have worked together over a number of years and it became obvious that a merger would benefit both firms’ clients, partners and staff.”

Simpson & Marwick managing partner Peter Anderson said: “It is a natural progression from the firms’ collaboration over a number of years. The end result will be a powerhouse dispute resolution and litigation firm with a complete UK-wide and Ireland offering and a major international presence. We are looking forward to working together to add yet further value to what we do for all our clients.”

Kennedys recorded a 9 per cent increase in turnover from £109m to £117m for 2012/13 (26 June 2013) which does not include a £10m boost to turnover from Kennedys’ last merger with aviation practice Gates & Partners in June (31 May 2013).