The proposed merger between HBJ Gateley's Scottish offices and international firm Addleshaw Goddard will go ahead with completion by 1 June 2017, following approval by the partners of both firms, it was confirmed today.
News of the deal broke after Gateley announced that its Scottish business had given notice of its intention to split from the rest of its operation which is now a publicly quoted company.
The enlarged Addleshaw Goddard will have offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen as well as London, Leeds, Manchester, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Singapore. With more than 230 partners, 1,100 lawyers and a total combined fee income of around £224m, it will rank 15th by UK income alone.
Addleshaw Goddard’s management structure will continue, with Charles Penney remaining senior partner and John Joyce as managing partner. HBJ chairman Malcolm McPherson will join the Addleshaw Goddard board. An HBJ partner will also join the executive teams leading each of Addleshaw Goddard's four operating divisions: corporate & commercial, finance & projects, litigation, and real estate.
Mr Joyce commented: "We have for a while had an ambition to be present in Scotland and so are delighted with the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from the partners, clients and staff of both firms. Overall, it’s a great fit for our clients and our people and we are looking forward to realising the collective benefits of our enhanced geographical reach, increased practice and sector bench-strength and flexibility in our delivery approach.
"This important development is just one aspect of our strategic ambitions and we remain committed to further expansion internationally and in the UK."
Mr McPherson added for HBJ: "The combination of two such capable and growing firms is extremely good news for our clients, our people and our partners. The overwhelming majority of partners at both firms clearly saw the many benefits of the merger strategy and the fact that it positions us very well for further strong growth.
"In particular, we are confident that our cross-border capabilities will quickly lead to an increased pipeline of business, as existing and future clients learn more about the significant advantages this deal will deliver for them."