Midlands-based HCB Solicitors incorporated a company called HCB Linder Myers the day after the Manchester-based Linder Myers announced its intention to appoint administrators (7 February).
HCB Linder Myers has been listed as a private limited company, registered to a Solihull address, and is listed as active. The move gives an early indication that HCB is preparing to make a move on the failing firm.
The north-west firm filed its intention to appoint administrators last Thursday at the Manchester District Registry Court (6 February 2014).
Linder Myers managing partner Bernard Seymour said at the time that the firm was “positive negotiations” with a number of firms over either sale or merger opportunities, adding: “Linder Myers’ clients will remain unaffected as business continues to trade as usual.”
HCB Solicitors has completed several similar deals over the past three years and incorporates a number of regional firms, which still operate under the original brands in association with HCB.
HCB chief executive Michael Gahan said: “HCB Solicitors is an ambitious firm having successfully completed a number of acquisitions in recent years in the Midlands with a continued vision for national growth. We are currently engaged in confidential talks with a number of firms with a view to realising this ambition.”
Mancheser-based Stephensons Solicitors was also connected to Linder Myers but in a statement released today, chairwoman Ann Harrison said: “We are actively open to opportunities to grow the practice through the right merger partner or acquisition. But, we have been linked with various potential mergers and purchasers, none of which have been proved true. We wish Linder Myers partners and staff the very best as they go through this difficult period.”
It is a turnaround in fortunes for Liner Myers, which is more used to buying other firms out of administration. It acquired fellow Manchester firm Rowlands Field Cunningham (RFC) out of administration in 2012 when it planned to grow from a £10m to £25m operation in three years (3 January 2012).
Then in October 2012 the firm bought fellow Manchester firm SNG Commerical Law out of administration and in the same week completed mergers with Chester-based Drummonds Solicitors and Lancashire-based Senior Calveley & Hardy Solicitors (1 October 2012).