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‘A real competitor’: Kingsley Napley strengthens employment practice with Archon Solicitors acquisition

Kingsley Napley has acquired Archon Solicitors to create a combined employment practice of seven partners and 11 associates.

Corinne Aldridge, managing partner of City employment firm Archon, has been appointed as the new head of Kingsley Napley’s employment team. The Archon team will move into Kingsley Napley’s Farringdon offices on 30 September and will no longer operate under the Archon name.

Joining Aldridge at Kingsley Napley are fellow partners Nick Ralph and Niki Southern, six associates and consultant Rob McCreath. They will work with the existing Kingsley Napley employment team which includes partners Richard Fox, Adrian Crawford, Adam Lambert and Andreas White.

Aldridge told Legal Business: ‘We see this as a good evolution in being able to develop our practice and offer additional resources to our clients. We see this as a very exciting opportunity with a firm with whom we feel we have a very good fit. We will have a big department which will give us an opportunity to be a real competitor within the industry. We have the sort of depth and experience within our team to make a very good offering to clients.

‘Practices within the employment field have come under more scrutiny, for instance the #Me Too campaign. I think for employees it’s given them the confidence to challenge their employers,’ added Aldridge.

The acquisition is part of Kingsley Napley’s plan to enhance the practice significantly following a busy period for the existing employment team.

Kingsley Napley managing partner Linda Woolley told Legal Business: ‘We particularly focus on doing quite difficult, contentious work often for City professionals, professional services and entrepreneurs. We’ve had a couple of leavers to the team and we felt, unusually for us, that it would be better to get the critical mass into the team and to grow it by a bolt-on rather than our usual organic growth combined with lateral hires. Our strategy a year ago was to try and find an appropriate small bolt-on employment firm and we were very lucky to find Archon very early.’

‘The most important thing for us is to ensure that we embed the Archon people and their clients into the firm. Our goal will be to develop our client base to support Corinne’s team in being able to offer their existing clients more support and advice from within the firm,’ added Woolley.

Woolley also said that issues arising from the #MeToo campaign, such as equal pay, have been very prominent in employment law recently and the addition of Aldridge and Niki Southern ‘can only be a good thing.’