South west-based Lex 100 firm Ashfords and Thames Valley firm Boyes Turner are primed to merge, creating a 100 partner-strong £60m southern law firm.
The merger will go live on 1 May 2019, subject to due diligence and legal agreements, while initial talks taking place in early 2017. The new firm will have a total of 700 employees and seven offices, with scale, future investment opportunities and client wins the cited motivations for the move.
‘We’ve been looking up the M4 corridor for some time,’ Garry Mackay, chief executive and partner at Ashfords told Legal Business. ‘We have lots of clients in the south east and it fitted with our strategy from that perspective.’
The new firm will continue to trade under the name of Exeter-based Ashfords, which has growth track of 43% over the last five years in the LB100, with the firm reporting growth for the current financial year of 11%. Boyes Turner, meanwhile, reported a revenue of £14.3m for 2018, up from £13.2m the previous year but a decrease from the £15.4m the firm posted in 2015. Revenue growth for the current financial year stands at 12%.
For Boyes Turner, the takeover by Ashfords will provide a sought-after expansion beyond its Reading offering, where it has enjoyed a strong reputation as one of the most established players in the town. It featured in preliminary talks with Blake Lapthorn and Morgan Cole before the tripartite merger fell apart in 2013, with the other two firms going on to form Blake Morgan.
‘As a leading tech and innovation firm, this merger allows for greater growth from our existing strong position,’ Boyes Turner chief executive Andrew Chalkley commented. ‘This merger gives us the scale and investment capability to grow, expand our client base and keep pace with our clients’ needs. The combined firm will enable us to provide even more value to our clients as we will be able to offer a wider range of skills and service lines.’
To see Ashfords’ full Lex 100 profile, click here.