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Weightmans targets July for merger with Leeds-firm Ford & Warren

National firm Weightmans is looking to establish an offering in Yorkshire, announcing it is in final merger negotiations with single office, Leeds-based Ford & Warren.

The two firms are targeting July this year to have a merger completed with formal contract negotiations currently underway. If successfully carried out, the merged firm will remain known as Weightmans, have 187 partners and a total headcount of over 1400.

Partners at Ford & Warren, which focuses on litigation, business and commerce, and private client work, will get access to Weightmans’ eight offices in: Birmingham, Dartford, Glasgow, Knutsford, Leicester, Liverpool, London and Manchester. The Leeds firm was established in 1816 and currently occupies 56,000 sq ft of office space, it says that it receives 70% of instructions from outside of the Yorkshire area including from FTSE 100 companies.

Weightmans’ managing partner, John Schorah, said: ‘The move is very much client driven, both in terms of clients we have in common and support from our clients to be there. Having explored and discussed our synergies, we believe we can, as a combined firm, grow in the Leeds market.’

Last month, Weightmans, which is setup as an alternative business structure, revealed a modest revenue increase of 2.5% for the 2014/15 financial year to £89.2m from £87m, demonstrating a slowing growth rate compared to last year. This year also saw the firm make an all-female promotions round with four joining the partnership.