Legal Business Blogs

‘A major business hub’: HFW enters the US with Houston acquisition

Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) is to gain a US presence by taking over Houston law firm Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown.

The eight partner litigation firm will join HFW’s 151 partners on January 3. Legge Farrow services energy, marine, insurance, financial, manufacturing, hospitality, health, construction and technology industries and has clients such as BP, AIG and Zurich.

The new Houston office will bring HFW’s office count to 15, adding to its offering across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and South America. HFW’s accounts for the 2015/16 financial year showed that the UK generates more than half its revenue, or about £70m.

The firm has been steadily bulking up its offering over the past two years, hiring Herbert Smith Freehills solicitor advocate and partner Christopher Foster in July. HFW also took on Reed Smith corporate partners Giles Beale and James Wilson in December last year, Stephen Marais from rival Ince & Co and energy partners Alexander Reid and Jonathan Martin, who joined from Baker Botts and Fasken Martineau respectively.

HFW’s turnover was up by 3% to £141.3m in 2015/16, having risen 27% since 2011. The London headquartered firm posted a 7% increase in profits per equity partner (PEP) to £501,000.

HFW global senior partner Richard Crump said: ‘Houston represents a major business hub for us. Having an on-the-ground US office has been a goal for some time and this merger will bring us closer to our existing clients in the region, and enable us to develop more business in our key sectors of oil and gas, marine and aviation, which are key growth sectors in the region, as well as building out our sector capability.’