LSA anxiety prompts West Country merger

West Country firm Porter Dodson has merged with Yeovil-based Batt Sanders & Bennett.

Porter Dodson partner Rob Fox said the prospect of deregulation through the implementation of the Legal Services Act has put pressure on smaller firms to add critical mass.

“For smaller firms deregulation’s a big issue,” Fox said. “It could mean problems with recruiting staff and ­getting new business.

“There’s a nervousness about the future: do you become a niche practice or a big one? We focus on Somerset, East Devon and Dorset.”

The deal has seen four partners who specialise in commercial and private client work transfer to the Yeovil office.

Batt Sanders senior ­partner Brian Bennett ­commented: “The synergy between our firms is strong and we wanted to be part of a bigger, progressive firm.”