HBJ Gateley is in discussions to merge its Scottish practice with English and international firm Addleshaw Goddard, it has been confirmed.
Both partnerships are still to vote on the proposals, which would result in a combined firm with 11 offices, more than 230 partners, 1,100 fee earners and revenue of over £220m, making it about the 15th largest in the UK.
Gateley confirmed on Friday that it was to split off its Scottish arm, HBJ Gateley, from May 2017, after becoming the first UK law firm to float on the London Stock Exchange last year, the Scottish practice being unable to be part of an investor-owned business.
In a combined statement, the firms said: “Gateley plc in England and HBJ Gateley in Scotland have announced today that their longstanding business relationship will come to an end in May next year. Until then, both firms will continue to work together in the best interests of all clients.”
Addleshaw Goddard, which has bases in the Middle East, Hong Kong and Singapore as well as London, Leeds and Manchester, was previously in merger talks with Maclay Murray & Spens in its attempt to acquire a Scottish practice, but these broke down early this year.
HBJ Gateley has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Run by corporate partner Fraser Jackson and senior partner Malcolm McPherson, HBJ Gateley also became the majority shareholder in property practice Coulters earlier this year after merging its own property division with Coulters.