Davenport Lyons bought after entering administration

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  • Adrian Biles

London firm Gordon Dadds today announced it has bought the client database and majority of assets from commercial firm Davenport Lyons.

The deal was confirmed in a brief statement this morning from Gordon Dadds, which also said ‘nearly all’ of the Davenport Lyons partner team had joined the firm.

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It has been confirmed that accountant Baker Tilly is acting as joint administrator after Davenport Lyons went into administration on Friday.

There has been no comment from Davenport Lyons.

Gordon Dadds managing partner Adrian Biles (pictured) will continue to lead the expanded firm, which will operate from premises in Mayfair and Covent Garden.

Biles said: ‘We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with so many of the excellent people and clients of Davenport Lyons.  

‘The additional intellectual capital and depth of expertise will add to our capabilities. It will benefit current and future clients and enable us to expand our activity across new disciplines.’

Davenport Lyons had a turnover of £21.9m in 2012/13, down from £24.5m the previous year, with the firm deciding to become a limited liability partnership last year.

The firm has been in talks with Shakespeares and HowardKennedyFsi in recent months but those have failed to come to anything.

Biles confirmed to the Gazette that the acquisition involves around 80 Davenport Lyons people, including 30 who are partners.

He said that there was no fundamental problem with the business or its personnel. 'We operate in the same area as Davenport Lyons,' said Biles. 'The only difference is we operate in a highly profitable business with a different management. There is nothing wrong with the work that was done, it was how it was structured.'

Biles, who said a number of other parties were interested in the acquisition, added that the main priority will now be to integrate new employees to Gordon Dadds.

'It is quite difficult to do. We have to clearly communicate our strategy and direction and continuously do that. It is going to take several months and we don't under-estimate the task.'

Gordon Dadds bought part of London firm Harris Cartier last year, in a deal that brought in eight solicitors who specialise in company and commercial, private client, and commercial litigation and property law.

Readers' comments (4)

  • I am saddened to see that DL have been hit by the recession - when will the collapse of the legal profession in England and Wales cease to gather momentum which is what is happening at the moment I wonder

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  • Firm structure and resulting management. As always with law firms.

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  • 'The only reason we’d go into administration is if it was planned as part of a deal with a much larger firm,” he answers. ”There is no creditor, lender or landlord putting pressure on us.' - said their CEO only last month. At best, this was highly misleading.

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  • I must say that I am unimpressed that despite DL not being in business for a fortnight, it is still listed on the Law Society's "Find a Solicitor" site, which is unhelpful to practitioners and the public.

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