East Anglian firm Ashton Legal has continued its expansion across the region with the acquisition of a neighbouring firm.

The deal to purchase Steeles Law is expected to be completed tomorrow, bringing the Ashtons team to more than 400 people across six offices.

The majority of Steeles staff will transfer to the Ashtons office in Norwich, with the Diss office kept open and rebranded. The firms have said there will be no redundancies in the legal teams and most employees outside of these teams will also move across to Ashtons, albeit some taking on different roles.

Ashtons has previously grown its business through acquisitions in the HR consultancy and French property and franchising markets but has now opted to swallow up another law firm.

Ed O’Rourke, Ashtons chief executive, said: ‘Over the past few years we have been looking for opportunities to continue the growth of our business and the expansion of services we can offer our clients. That growth happens organically through the ongoing development of our staff but also through the strategic acquisition of key individuals, teams and firms that share our values.’

Steeles specialises in agriculture, education and the motorsport industry and says the merger will help clients gain easier access to a range of services.

Oliver Brabbins, managing partner and head of employment at Steeles, said: 'We see this as an important step in the evolution of the exceptional quality of our teams, allowing us to integrate Steeles’ key practice areeas into those at Ashtons so that we can, together, become an increasingly strong presence in the legal marketplace.’


Pictured above: Oliver Brabbins, Steeles managing partner (left), and Ed O’Rourke, Ashtons CEO (right)