BLG and Clydes eye UK top 10 slot with potential merger

Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) is planning to merge with fellow insurance firm Clyde & Co, in a deal that would propel the combined entity into the UK top 10 by turnover.

David Jabbari
David Jabbari

It is understood that the two firms have been in talks about a possible tie-up for several months.

Clydes chief executive Peter Hasson said the tie-up deserves “serious consideration” given the impact it would have in the insurance market.

BLG chief executive David Jabbari said in a statement that the firm had been exploring a number of different merger options, adding that a tie-up with Clydes has “obvious potential”.

BLG has positioning itself for merger for the last year and has seen a number of exits from its partnership. That said, its headcount has not declined because last year it acquired the Manchester office of now-defunct firm Halliwells.

Peter Hasson
Peter Hasson

For the 2010-11 financial year the firm posted a 17 per cent rise in turnover, up to £94.5m from £80.8m in 2009-10 (16 May 2011).

Clydes, meanwhile, broke through the £200m turnover barrier for 2010-11, posting revenues of £212m up from £192m a year earlier (23 May 2011).

There is some disparity between the two firms’ profitability figures, with BLG predicting an average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure of around £300,000 for th 2010-11 year while Clydes’ PEP for 2009-10 was £605,000.

Any merger would send shockwaves through the insurance legal market, leaving firms such as Kennedys, which posted revenues of £88.2m 2009-10, and Holman Fenwick Willan, with revenues of £112.5m in 2010-11, in the merged entity’s wake.