A new wave of mergers has been announced as firms bulk up and extend their geographical reach. Deals have been announced in Merseyside, the east Midlands, the south east and East Anglia in recent weeks to continue the trend of consolidation.

Gotelee Solicitors, a firm dating back 150 years with five offices across Suffolk, has become part of the Mezzle Group. The Mezzle business pledges to offer a new type of model for delivering legal services and is already based in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The firm has cast itself as a fee-share consultancy firm with an eye on international expansion.

A traditional firm from the relatively smaller towns of Suffolk might appear a departure from this model, but Mezzle chief executive Mel Kang said there was potential for growing a regional business along the same lines.

He said: ‘By bringing our cutting-edge tech-based solutions into Gotelee’s operations, investing in its staff and bringing in even more talent, we will showcase what Gotelee is and what it represents – one of the best providers of legal services in the East Anglian market.

‘Maintaining the firm’s rich heritage and values is critical, but we are looking forward to helping the firm in its growth plans.’

Gotelee said clients should expect ‘business as usual’ and that it remains committed to the local communities it serves.

East Midlands firm Hopkins Solicitors has announced the acquisition of Miles & Cash Solicitors, marking its first footprint into Derbyshire’s legal community. Miles & Cash specialises in children and care law and its solicitors Chris Sedgwick and Lucy Fisher have joined Hopkins as part of the deal.

Last month interior and exterior renovations began on the existing Miles & Cash office which is located in the Derbyshire town of Heanor, between Ripley and Ilkeston. Once complete, the town centre office will be expanding and housing at least eight solicitors offering a full range of legal support services.

Miles & Cash’s managing partner Chris Sedgwick said: ‘Our search for a law firm to transform the business was easy, having known a number of the Hopkins staff personally, we knew they held the same values and high levels of quality service.’

National business Jackson Lees Group has acquired private client firm Farrington Law, based in Southport. All members of staff, who have 40 years’ experience between them, will be retained after the move. The acquisition of the Southport office means that Jackson Lees Group will now have additional reach across Merseyside, with offices already in Liverpool city centre, Hoylake and Heswall.

Jackson Lees managing director Esther Leach said: ‘We’ve been on the lookout for that perfect addition to Jackson Lees Group. It was really important that we found not just the right business, but also the right people, who match who we are and what we do.’

Finally, Bretherton Law in St Albans has joined the GT Stewart group of firms, with managing director Sandra Bradley stepping down to enjoy her retirement. GT had already added the child care team from Silks Solicitors in the Midlands after the firm went into administration last month.

SRA figures show that 543 firms closed in 2023 compared with 366 which opened over the same period. There were 9,318 firms at the end of March – 2% fewer than the year before and 10% down on five years ago.


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