Property boutiques eye private equity investment after £7m merger

Property specialists Cramer Pelmont and Gilbert Turner Coomber (GTC) are set to merge creating a £7m firm that is eventually looking to attract investments from private equity funds.

The merger will go live on 1 October and the combined firm will be called Cavendish Legal Group. The firm will be led by managing partner Alexis Brassey – previously managing director at Cramer Pelmont – and a four-man board comprising Brassey, GTC’s managing partner David Turner, GTC practice manager Richard Moran and Cramer Pelmont senior partner Nick Pelmont.

The combined firm will have 110 staff (including 11 equity partners and 60 fee earners) across offices in Cavendish Square, Crouch End and Walthamstow.

Cramer Pelmont and GTC are property-focused firms, though both also have litigation, family and private client practices, among others. Cavendish Legal Group will continue the component firms’ strategy of targeting small and medium-sized enterprises and high-net worth individuals. To save costs, the firm will service all its back office functions, as well process conveyancing matters, from its Walthamstow base.

According to managing partner Brassey – a former investment banker at Lehman Brothers, Citibank and Barclays de Zoete Wedd – Cavendish Legal Group’s legacy firms met when GTC moved into new offices at 33 Cavendish Square, where Cramer Pelmont was already based. Both had established themselves in Cavendish Square with the aim of building a corporate practice and, after initially looking at opportunities to work together, the firms then began discussing a merger.

Brassey said that Cavendish is now on the hunt for further mergers, in particular West End firms with turnover between £0.5 and £5m, and is in talks with two other firms.

“This is not just a marketing opportunity for law firms but a chance to take advantage of real economies of scale,” said Brassey. “Firms who join us will no longer have to deal with accounts, regulation, procurement and facilities management which in recent years has become an increasing burden for all practices.”

Brassey added that his vision for the firm was for it to continue growing and then look at inviting investment from private equity houses.