Law firm mergers are hardly anything new, but watching small firms grown into big ones is one of the trends encouraged through deregulated markets, like the UK legal market.
Liverpool Echo report that on May 1, Berrymans Lace Mawer and Scottish firm HBM Sayers, will combine to create BLM, forming the UK and Ireland’s leading risk and insurance law business.
BLM will have 170 partners and 630 lawyers and technical experts and a total of 1,550 employees.
They will operate from 12 offices across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales including a base at Castle Chambers in Liverpool with 15 partners and 164 staff.
The Liverpool operation dates back to the late 1700s when Joshua Lace, the son of prominent city slave trader, Ambrose Lace, opened his own law practice.
Mr Lace would later go on to be one of the founders, and the first president, of the Liverpool Law Society.
In the 1980s, the firm merged with Manchester-based AW Mawer to form Lace Mawer, and in the following decade it joined forces with London-based Berrymans to form Berrymans Lace Mawer.
National senior partner of the firm, Wirral-born Mike Brown, said that the 1990s merger made sense as both practices represented two major insurers that were themselves merging.
He told ECHO Business: “At the time, we worked for Royal Insurance which was merging with Sun Alliance to become Royal & Sun Alliance, now, of course, RSA.
“Berryman’s did a lot of work for Sun Alliance so it made sense for the law firms to get together.”