South Devon firms combine to create regional powerhouse

South Devon firm Hooper & Wollen is set to merge with its regional rival Harold Michelmore next week (3 October).

The combined entity will have a turnover of £5m, with 15 partners and more than 100 staff. It will be branded Wollen Michelmore.

It comes just a week after The Lawyer revealed that Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson is in merger talks with London firm Bircham Dyson & Bell (20 September 2011).

Consolidation across the profession is being driven by the threat of increased competition following the implementation of the Legal Services Act (LSA).

Hooper & Wollen last month signed up to the QualitySolicitors scheme and has installed a legal information point in the Torquay branch of WHSmith.

Hooper & Wollen managing partner Chris Hart said: “All these changes are significant, and necessary, in order to drive us forward into an increasingly competitive time. From October, new legislation dubbed ‘Tesco law’ will enable banks and retail brands to provide legal services.”