Shakespeares and SGH Martineau confirm June merger

Midlands firms Shakespeares and SGH Martineau have confirmed they will complete their merger on 15 June, less than three months after the two announced they were in talks.

The new top 50-firm will trade as Shakespeare Martineau and will have a turnover of around £75m. It will employ over 900 people including 150 partners.

The two firms announced that they were in merger talks in March this year (2 March 2015).

Shakespeares CEO Andy Raynor will continue in his current leadership position at the new firm. It is unknown which position SGH Martineau managing partner Emma Shipp will hold going forward.

Merger talks began between the firms began mere weeks after Raynor replaced Paul Wilson as CEO. Wilson stepped down after nine years of leading Shakespeares through a period of sustained growth (22 January 2015). The firm completed seven mergers in nine years under an expansion strategy started by Wilson.

One of the largest was the merger with Leicester-based Harvey Ingram. This increased Shakespeares’ headcount by 360 and increased its turnover to just under £50m (16 July 2012).

“I spoke with Emma Shipp, SGH Martineau’s managing partner, back in January and we both realised our businesses could complement each other very well and that we would be able to achieve our ambitions faster together,” Raynor told The Lawyer.

Both firms count Birmingham as their largest office base, with the pair also occupying space in London. Shakespeares has a further seven offices spread across the Midlands, while SGH Martineau has a presence in Brussels following a collaboration with German firm Becker Büttner Held in 2011 (18 October 2011).

“We plan to combine SGH Martineau’s expertise in energy, education and financial services with our own so that we can better compete with other top 50 firms,” Raynor adds. ”At the moment we are not contemplating any more mergers until we work out how to grow this one.”

The merger means Shakespeare Martineau will have offices across the country in areas such as Birmingham, London and Nottingham, as well as one in Brussels

Following the merger on 15 June, (22 May 2015), Shakespeare Martineau’s headcount will increase to around 900, with over two-thirds staff coming from Shakespeares. In addition, turnover is expected to increase over the coming year, as Shakespeares and SGH Martineau reported turnover of £50m and £27m respectively in the last financial year.