Bond Dickinson to target international growth post-merger

Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees are aiming to produce an international strategy within the next 12-18 months following the firms’ decision to merge.

Jonathan Blair
Jonathan Blair

Dickinson Dees managing partner Jonathan Blair told The Lawyer that now the merger, which is due to go live in May 2013, is a done deal, the priority was to address the combined firm’s lack of an international footprint. Blair said it was too early to comment on whether that meant opening new offices, or which jurisdictions the firm would target, but added that Bond Dickinson – as the merged firm will be called – will target international expansion that centres on its oil and gas, and high-net worth practices.

Partners at Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees voted through the merger, which will create a £95m firm with offices across the UK, last week (7 December 2012) after five or six months of talks.

Blair stressed that the decision to merge was based around the firm’s common goals: Dickinson Dees’ 2020 Vision (the name of its management strategy) and Bond Pearce’s Green Arrow plan both focused on expanding in London. Blair said that it was too early to say whether, and to what scale, the firm would cut back office staff following the merger.

“Obviously being across eight locations we’ll need a substantial back office, but it’s too early to say anything for definite,” said Blair.

The firms have already agreed to move into new offices in London, however. The firms’ current London leases expire in March 2013, when the combined firm will look for space of between 20,000 and 25,000 sq ft in central London. Based on those figures, Bond Dickinson will have space for around 100 lawyers in the office, an increase on the 60-70 that it now has as a combined firm.