Manches’ merger mayhem

Another financial year, another attempt to reboot financial growth at Manches. This time around the firm wants to expand its London base through a merger with South East firm Penningtons.

Revenues have been falling at Manches for a decadeand the firm has tried several times to reverse the trend. Back in 2009 it came close to a tie-up with the ill-fated Halliwells, only to be stumped by its heavyweight family practice that put the breaks on the talks.

A year later the firm gave newly installed chief executive Judit Petho the challenge of rebuilding. She had some tough words for Manches partners, telling us that the partners “didn’t have the vision” to kickstart growth and that “Manches hasn’t lived up to its full potential for a long time”.

Petho barely lasted two years. The firm then decided to revert to its traditional managing partner structure and yet another new strategy. Sources suggest that Manches has long been on the hunt for a merger partner for some time.

Could Penningtons, a £32.5m firm, really be the answer to its problems?

Meanwhile, anyone feeling unloved might be perked up by the list of winners from the inaugural The Lawyer Management Awards last night. Clifford Chance beat off stiff competition to be named Management Team of the Year, but the full list of winners is here.

Also on

  • Dentons has launched its 79th office worldwide, relocating a team of lawyers from Dallas and Washington DC to open in Houston
  • Hill Dickinson has appointed Alastair Reid as head of its Sheffield office following the death of the firm’s former Sheffield office managing partner Neil Thompson in June
  • Ashurst’s London litigation partner Ben Tidswell will run for the newly created chairman position, alongside current senior partner Charlie Geffen, as the firm readies for the Australian merger vote
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