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‘A close-knit group’: Milbank acquires Dickson Minto’s seven-partner London office

One of 2022’s hottest merger rumours came to fruition today (13 December), as Milbank confirmed it was acquiring the London office of Anglo-Scottish firm Dickson Minto.

Legal Business first reported murmurings of a merger in the summer, when concerns were raised about matching Dickson Minto’s private equity specialism with Milbank’s bank-side lender practice. At the time, Dickson Minto had also being linked with Fried Frank, although sources claiming familiarity with the deal said those talks had collapsed.

In any case it will not be a wholesale merger, as Dickson Minto’s Edinburgh office will remain independent, with the London team joining Milbank early next year.

Dickson Minto’s London team comprises seven partners, 20 associates and ten business services professionals. Concerns over practice synergies aside, the buyout will add considerable depth to Milbank’s City outpost, which currently boasts 33 partners according to its website.

Milbank’s global head of corporate, Norbert Rieger, said: ‘The addition of this team will significantly add to our ability to act for clients around the globe on private equity related transactions. It is a logical next step after our expansion in the PE space in the US, Germany and Asia.’

Alastair Dickson, co-founder of Dickson Minto, paid tribute to the outgoing practice: ‘I am very pleased that the London private equity practice of Dickson Minto will join Milbank – the partners, lawyers and other staff have been a close-knit group for a long time and it’s extremely satisfying to see their desire to stick together and continue to grow as a group.

‘The move will benefit our longstanding clients who will continue to receive the same high level of service from the same people but now combined with Milbank’s M&A and private equity practice in other jurisdictions as well as with the added advantage of its global expertise in a whole host of adjacent practice areas.’

Dickson added he would be working with Milbank to achieve a ‘seamless transition’, and also confirmed that Dickson Minto would retain a ‘close working relationship’ with the departing team.

The acquisition compounds not only the continually rising prominence of US firms in London, but also the primacy of US firms when it comes to transatlantic tie-ups. For more on this subject, read our history of transatlantic mergers, State of the Union.