South East stalwart Thomas Eggar is to absorb City boutique Pritchard Englefield as the run of consolidation within the UK top 100 continues.
The merger, which will go live on 1 May and roughly doubles the size of Thomas Eggar’s City arm, will see the 58-partner firm increase its revenue from £36m to £42m. The duo will unite under the Thomas Eggar brand.
The acquisition of the 30-lawyer City practice has been billed as substantially bolstering Thomas Eggar’s profile as an institutional adviser.
At first glance the deal looks a credible move given Thomas Eggar’s stated ambition of bulking up in the Capital. Pritchard Englefield has a relatively large corporate practice for a firm of its size. Tracing its roots back more than 150 years, the firm was one of the first UK practices to launch a branch in Germany. It currently generates a third of its revenues from corporate work.
Thomas Eggar managing partner Victoria Brackett will continue to lead firm, with Pritchard Englefield managing partner Ros Ashby joining the combined practice’s 10-strong management board.
Pritchard Englefield’s five equity partners were all involved in negotiations and the merger received the required 75% mandate from Thomas Eggar’s 22 equity partners in a vote on 27 March.
Brackett commented: ‘It was something that we had been looking to do organically but we were still very much alive to the fact that if we could find a firm that was culturally aligned to us then it would accelerate the process.’
Thomas Eggar has notably invested in a tax department in the City, recently relocating a senior partner and an assistant and making senior hires from Berwin Leighton Paisner, Pinsent Masons and Baker & McKenzie. The top 100 UK law firm – which last year generated revenues of £34.6m – is best known for its private client work.
Brackett said of the merger: ‘We hope to integrate both client bases and from this to develop it. What we bring is a wider range of services to Pritchard Englefield’s clients. It’s exciting for us all, the biggest challenge is that our people and clients feel valued and see an improvement.’
Thomas Eggar’s London team of around 30 lawyers will relocate to Pritchard Englefield office on New Street. Staff were informed of the move on Monday (8 April).
The deal comes amid a flurry of mergers and discussions in the legal mid-tier, with Withers and Speechly Bircham last month confirming that they are talks to create a private client-dominated leader.
Click here for The Legal 500 profile on Pritchard Englefield.