Hammonds and Eversheds spin-outs merge to create £15m firm

Two debt recovery boutiques that spun out from legacy Hammonds and Eversheds, respectively, are to merge to create a £15m practice.

Former <a class=DLA Piper insolvency partner Philip Holden” src=”Pictures/web/g/d/k/Philip_Holden.jpg” />

Former DLA Piper insolvency partner Philip Holden

Consumer finance recovery specialists Drydens Lawyers and debt recovery firm Fairfax Solicitors are set to merger on 2 April, creating a firm with roughly 300 staff and turnover of around £15m. It will be called Drydensfairfax Solicitors.

Drydens has 170 staff and turnover of £8m, while Fairfax employs 130 and pulls in around £7m.

Bradford-based Drydens was part of Squire Sanders legacy firm Hammonds before demerging to become an independent firm in 2003. In 2009, former DLA Piper insolvency partner Philip Holden bought Drydens from the remaining Hammonds partners who still held shares and became the firm’s executive chairman.

Leeds-based Fairfax used to be part of Eversheds, but split off after a management buyout in 2009.

Holden will lead the merged firm as chief executive officer while Peter Wordsworth, who is CEO at Fairfax will become director of client management and business development. The firm will continue to operate from its two separate offices in Bradford and Leeds initially, with plans to move into Drydens’ Bradford office later in the year.

“This really is a merger in every sense of the word,” said Holden. “Drydens is particularly strong on secured recoveries and Fairfax is focused on unsecured and Government work.

“The new operation combines an excellent debt collection business with an exceptional debt litigation practice. As a regulated law firm with the highest levels of compliance combined with a quality culture and strength in depth we’re in a unique position to take advantage of these factors and grow our business.”