Mills & Reeve eyes merger with Manchester’s George Davies

Mills & Reeve and Manchester firm George Davies are understood to have held tie-up talks, with both firms separately confirming that they are considering mergers.

Guy Hinchley
Guy Hinchley

According to a Manchester market source, Mills & Reeve and George Davies are exploring a merger. It is not clear what stage the talks have reached, however.

Neither firm would comment specifically on merger talks, but George Davies managing partner Mark Hovell told The Lawyer: “The firm is considering consolidating. We’ve got to look at it as part of our strategy and, in general terms, we’re open to those ideas.”

Mills & Reeve managing partner Guy Hinchley, meanwhile, told The Lawyer that, in light of the rash of merger activity in the legal market, Mills & Reeve was also “evaluating its opportunities” in relation to a tie-up, but would not comment specifically on talks until they had reached a more certain stage.

Towards the end of 2012, Mills & Reeve launched a Leeds real estate practice after hiring a partner from DAC Beachcroft (22 October 2012). In August 2012 the firm set up a paralegal support centre in Norwich in a bid to boost profits (1 August 2012). Turnover at the 95-partner firm in 2011/12 was £69.4m, while average profit per equity partner was £326,000. Mills & Reeve has six offices across the UK, including one each in London and Manchester.

George Davies’ turnover in 2011/12 was £7.3m. The firm is full service and has one of the largest private client practices in the North West.