Regional-merger trend continues as Attwaters and Jameson & Hill tie the knot

Essex law firm Attwaters and Herts-based Jameson & Hill have announced their plans to merge in a deal that will see the two firms form Attwaters Jameson Hill.

The new partnership, which is effective from 1 July, will see Attwaters’ existing offices in Harlow and Loughton and Jameson & Hill’s Hertford and Ware offices combine to form a firm of 14 partners and 85 staff across the four offices. The new firm’s head office will be Hertford.

The merged entity will cover a wide range of services, including drafting, conveyancing, family law advice, commercial work, town and country planning, personal injury and clinical negligence. Based on the firms’ 2010-11 financial figures – Attwaters had an April year-end and Jameson & Hill a March year-end – the new firm’s combined turnover is £5m.

In 2008 Attwaters embarked upon a five-year strategy to boost its offering in the corporate and private client fields to expand its scope beyond areas such as personal injury and clinicalnegligence for which it was traditionally best known (20 July 2009).

As Jameson & Hill’s senior partner Rob Jameson explains, the merger made sense for both law firms: “Our two firms shared a desire to grow and provide more services to clients in a changing legal environment that demands specialist knowledge and expertise covering many legal issues.”

“From our earliest discussions, it was clear that we also shared the same ethos, values and philosophy. Our two firms have over 140 years in legal practice, so the new partnership will inherit traditional high standards, yet be progressive and forward-looking,” he added.

Commenting on the merger, Attwaters’ managing partner Andrew Flanagan said:

“The happy outcome for both firms’ clients is that the full, extended range of services will be available to all of them at the most convenient of a network of four offices. However, we expect most clients will continue using their existing office, if that’s still best for them.”

At the new firm, Flanagan will continue in the role of managing partner and will lead a five-strong management board. This consists of himself, partner and financial director Clare Newton – who was previously managing partner at Jameson & Hill – Jameson & Hill consultant Chris Hill, and Attwaters’ practice director Ian Rintoul and HR manager Catherine Dean.

Under the new leadership Jameson will become the firm’s overall head of commercial while Attwaters’ head of medical negligence David Kerry will become the new senior partner.

Attwaters began trading in London as Attwater and Liell in 1901 and later opened an office in Loughton in the 1930s and Harlow in 1954. Jameson & Hill was founded in 1982 with offices in Hertford and Ware.