Legal Business Blogs

American dream: Addleshaws eyes US play with Hunton & Williams merger talks

After failing to secure further consolidation in the UK recently, Addleshaw Goddard has turned to the US for a potential merger partner to achieve its aim of becoming a £250m-lawyer firm, and is believed to be in talks with Virginia-based Hunton & Williams.

According to the latest AmLaw 100, Hunton & Williams has 696 lawyers and 167 equity partners across 19 offices in the US, Europe and Asia. In 2015 it posted gross revenue of $528m, a 7% drop on 2014.

By contrast Addleshaw Goddard posted double digit revenue growth of 12%, up from £171m in 2013/14 to £193m for the financial year 2014/15. The turnover rise took revenue to its highest level since 2007/08 and just shy in nominal terms of the £195m it achieved then.

The firm, which recently elected a new senior partner Charles Penney, had until February this year been in talks with Maclay Murray & Spens to create a national practice with combined revenues of around £230m.

The firm has been clear that it wants to make £250m in fee income by the financial year 2017/18, which a takeover would help achieve.

In a statement that mirrors the one made when news broke of the merger talks with Maclays, Addleshaw Goddard said: ‘We’ve said before that we will never comment on speculation about mergers and that remains our position so we have nothing to say. Increasing our scale and coverage is something we constantly consider, and we’re always talking to individuals, teams and firms on a regular basis about a lot of things.’

For more on Addleshaws’ strategy and its impact see: ‘Last orders – Addleshaws gets behind its new leader, but can it regain its form?’