Redundancies on the horizon for new-look Shakespeares

There are likely to be redundancies at Midlands firm Shakespeares as a result of its £50m merger with Harvey Ingram, the firm’s management has confirmed.

Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson

The combined firm’s chief executive Paul Wilson said a strategic review of the business is currently being carried out and the workforce is being consulted.

This process is what has delayed the official ‘live’ date by a month, from 1 August to 1 September (16 July 2012), he added.

Wilson said: “It’s likely that the strategic review will find that some redundancies are necessary given the duplication of roles in a business this size, but the emphasis is very much on continuing to invest to strengthen our business.

“We want to continue to recruit and grow the business. In the end businesses respect suppliers who have a genuine passion and enjoyment for what they do – and in our combined business that is precisely what we have and we’ll recruit accordingly too.”

Both firms’ partners voted unanimously in favour of the merger and Wilson said there were “no stumbling points” in the discussions, which concluded within months of the talks being announced (24 May 2012).

The new-look firm is aiming to catch 600-lawyer and 1,000-staff Wragge & Co as the dominant Midlands-based presence by bringing together 360 Harvey Ingram and 455 Shakespeares employees.

The review has yet to identify the number of jobs under threat.

The merged entity will be known as Shakespeares across the East and West Midlands and Home Counties, bar Leicester, where it will be known as Harvey Ingram Shakespeares for a further year due to the “well-known and respected” brand.

Wilson added that the merger will see the firm challenge “expensive Midlands and London law firms” to attract large local corporations, mid-sized businesses and high-net-worth private clients.

He said: We’re confident that our enhanced offering compared to other local and London firms and the depth and variety of legal resource we can now offer clients in the property, retail, technology and telecoms, banking, insurance, manufacturing and public sectors will make us an even more frequent choice as principal or panel solicitors.”