Wedding bells ring for Charles Russell Speechlys

For Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham it’s the end of an era. As of tomorrow, they’ll have formally merged into a firm with a turnover  of £130.2m – putting it into 26th place in the UK200.

In many ways the tie-up seems too good to be true. The newly-weds have roughly similar revenues, practice specialisms, and ambitions.  Even their names fit together without too many spare parts rattling about – Charles Russell Speechlys has a distinguished ring to it (even if we find that extra ‘s’ a little odd).

But every merger has its fair share of hurdles to overcome. The newly-merged firm’s managing partner James Carter tells The Lawyer today that management has opted to delay some of the trickier integration issues while Charles Russell Speechlys settles into its new identity.

The IT and accountancy systems won’t be reconciled until March 2014, remuneration structures are due to be integrated in May 2016, and it could take more than two years to find a suitable office to house the pair’s 930-odd staff.

Nevertheless, the merger is good news for associates, as the firm has improved its training regime during the course of the merger. And as the new firm switches to legacy Charles Russell’s career progression path, it looks like some legacy Speechlys associates may even be in for a marginal pay-rise.

The champagne’s on Speechly, then.

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