Martineau moots merger with London’s Sprecher Grier

Birmingham-based firm Martineau and London firm Sprecher Grier Halberstam have announced that thy are in merger talks. The tie-up would create a combined entity with a £31m turnover.

It would also propel the firm into the top 80 in the UK, ranked by revenue.

Martineau senior partner Andrew Whitehead said that the potential merger comes after an extensive search on the part of his firm for the right partner in London.

He commented: “We’ve made no secret about our plans for growing the London office and we’re doing that by a combination of bolt-ons and trying to find the right merger partner.

“Sprecher Grier is a complementary fit for our practice areas. We both have big banking, litigation and property practices.”

The City firm saw its turnover break the £10m barrier in 2009-10, while it also moved into new premises in Fenchurch Street. Fee-earner headcount stood at 75 last year, while Martineau’s was 131.

Whitehead added that another key for identifying Sprecher Grier as a partner was that he wanted to make sure the Birmingham office remained larger than London.

“We still want to be a Birmingham firm with a London office,” he said. “We want to use this as a platform for growth and we’ll carry on growing in Birmingham.”

The talks are understood to be at an advanced stage, but Whitehead would not be drawn on the timeline for negotiations.