Howard Kennedy-FSI merger delayed due to technical issues

The Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent (FSI) merger has been delayed as the two firms continue to align their back office functions.

Mark Dembovsky
Mark Dembovsky

While the ambitious 10-week target of 1 November for completion will not be met, The Lawyer understands there are no major issues and that the £45m tie-up is on track, albeit with a slight delay.

Howard Kennedy chief executive Mark Dembovsky and FSI managing partner Paul Millett are leading the process (8 August 2012).

Dembovsky said: “We were hopeful that the essential elements required to complete the integration could be completed by 1 November.

“There was no magic in this date, but rather an overall hope that we could beat the odds and get everything in place within a matter of weeks.

“However, despite all the efforts from colleagues from both firms to complete all the tasks required, there’s still a whole lot more that needs to be finalised and we’re now sure that 1 November is not going to be achievable.

“The integration team will be meeting over the next week or so to assess the number of outstanding elements and we’ll update you with a new date as soon as possible.”

The firm is still actively looking for new space, but will be maintaining its three offices for at least the next couple of years until the current leases expire.

Howard Kennedy litigation head Craig Emden, corporate chief Michael Harris and property head Jason Lewis sit on the integration committee with Millett and Dembovsky (14 September 2012).

The two firms entered into talks in February. When the deal goes through the enlarged firm will have approximately 88 partners and 125 fee-earners.