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‘A compelling combination’: Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham say yes to merger

The partnerships of Speechly Bircham and Charles Russell have today (16 July) voted ‘overwhelmingly’ in favour of a merger that will create a firm with 170 partners, a total of 500 lawyers, and combined revenues of £135m, elevating the combined entity into the top 30 of the LB100. The new firm will be called Charles Russell Speechlys.

Set to go live on 1 November, the new firm still be structured around four key divisions including business services, disputes, private client and real estate & construction. It will also have a network of offices across Europe and the Gulf’s main wealth and business centres. The firms said in a joint statement that ‘long-standing relationships and networks throughout the United States, Africa and the Caribbean will extend the geographical reach of the new firm.’

Adding that duplication and conflicts arising from the merger are ‘thought to be minimal’, the firm added that partner support for the merger ‘reflects a shared view of the need to achieve both scale and reach in helping clients access lucrative new markets, as well as to handle more routine work with maximum efficiency’.

This morning it was confirmed that the polls for voting on the merger had opened, with both firms required to attain a 75% majority vote in order for the merger to receive approval.

The talks were Speechlys second attempt at a union, having called off its high-profile merger talks with private client firm Withers last May after suggestions of lack of support from the partnerships.

Charles Russell senior partner Christopher Page said: ‘Our determination is to deliver enduring value for our clients by giving grounded, personal advice from all our UK offices as well as from our offices in Europe and the Gulf. We know that our clients will find our balanced and integrated expertise and experience, provided efficiently and cost-effectively, a compelling combination.’

Speechlys’ managing partner James Carter said: ‘The real work starts now. Our integration team, headed by David Green, is tasked with finding the very best elements of both firms and making them work effectively together. It will also be looking at workflow, team combinations and optimal use of office accommodation.’

We are committing to a multi-million investment in new knowledge management, business development and IT resources, together with specialised business skills training, on top of the professional development that has always been a hallmark of our two practices.’