Shakespeares goes for Midlands domination with fourth merger in 18 months

Midlands firm Shakespeares is preparing to do its fourth merger in under 18 months with a tie-up with Solihull-based Wood Glaister due to go live on 1 December.

Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson

In June 2010, legacy firm Shakespeare Putsman merged with £7m Midlands rival  Needham & James, creating a £24m, 56-partner firm (8 June 2010). This was closely followed by a merger with £6.6m Nottingham-based Berryman, bringing combined revenue to £28.4m and adding 17 more partners to the fold (18 August 2010).

Last month Shakespeares merged with Birmingham-based two-partner specialist social housing practice Gorrara Haden.

The latest tie-up sees the firm, which has rebranded as Shakespeares, acquiring Wood Glaister – a nine-partner firm specialising in property development, commercial property, commercial litigation and personal injury. The firm, which employs 55 members of staff, will continue to trade under its current name.

Shakespeares chief executive Paul Wilson is targeting a turnover of £50m in the next 18 months, with the aim of making Shakespeares a leading mid-tier firm. He has cited the economic climate and the Legal Services Act as the reason behind the latest spree of local mergers.

“This is the latest development in our strategic growth plan, which has seen the firm increase its turnover to £28m, employing 430 people. Our aim remains to be one of the leading Midlands domiciled legal services providers,” he said.

Shakespeares ranked 84th in this year’s The Lawyer’s UK 200.