A fresh spate of mergers has been announced across the country as firms bulk up ahead of the new year.
Stowe Family Law has continued its spread with the acquisition of fellow family specialist Crisp & Co, a firm with 17 offices across the south east and Manchester.
It is not clear yet whether all those offices and Crisp staff will be retained, but Stowe’s announcement states that the acquisition will add more than 10 locations in London and across the south of England.
The expansion of the team will increase the firm’s ability to support clients facing family law issues, including divorce, child arrangements and financial matters, and continue Stowe’s expressed bid to become the UK’s leading family practice.
Stowe chairman Ken Fowlie said: ‘Enquiries into the firm continue to trend high as divorce figures increase across the UK, and the acquisition of will help us support more families as they navigate the issues associated with a relationship breakdown.’
The firm has grown to a network of nearly 80 offices and 160 lawyers across England and Wales since it was acquired private equity firm Livingbridge in 2017.
The deal is the third for the firm in two years, following the acquisitions of Chapman Pieri in April 2022 and Watson Thomas Solicitors in February 2023.
Meanwhile, south east firm Cripps has announced a merger with PDT Solicitors, a commercial firm based in West Sussex. The move will expand Cripps’ corporate law and commercial real estate offering in particular.
PDT Solicitors reported turnover of £5m in 2022/23 and has 50 staff including 29 fee earners.
James Beatton, managing partner at Cripps, said: ‘Our ambition is to be the pre-eminent law firm in the South, and this merger takes us another step closer to that goal.’
The firms will come together under the Cripps brand with James Clewlow, managing partner at PDT Solicitors joining the Cripps board upon completion of the merger in early 2024. Cripps, which posted annual revenue of £45m last year, merged with Pemberton Greenish in 2019.
York firm Hetherton Solicitors has joined forces with neighbouring AJC Law and will operate under the Hethertons name. AJC Law’s founder Anthony Corps will be director of the enlarged practice.
‘Our merger with AJC Law will enhance our dispute resolution capabilities, offering our clients an elevated level of service backed by wider expertise and a broader resource pool,’ said Tom Henry, a director at Hethertons.