A vehicle hire business has become the latest outsider to enter the legal services market following a newly-confirmed merger. The all-share merger of listed companies Northgate plc and Redde plc, which owned NewLaw Solicitors and Principia Law, was confirmed last week after being announced last November.

Northgate, which has 58 hire centres and 49 workshops nationwide, earlier this month received approval as an alternative business structure, giving it authorisation to provide reserved legal services.

An announcement to the London Stock Exchange confirms that the merger had been finalised, with the company renamed Redde Northgate plc. Under the terms, each Redde shareholder will be entitled to receive 0.3669 new Northgate shares, meaning they own around 46% of the merged entity. 

Martin Ward, chief executive of Redde plc, continues in the same role for the new entity, with John Davies, Mark McCafferty and Stephen Oakley appointed as non-executive directors.

Almost 113,000 new Northgate shares were issued in connection with the merger as of this morning. Trading in Redde shares on the AIM market was cancelled with effect from 7am today.

Northgate claims to be the leading light commercial vehicle business in the UK, Spain and Ireland by fleet size and has been operating in the sector since 1981. Redde has worked predominantly with insurance companies and national fleet owners, but doubled its profits from legal work in 2018/19 from £2.2m to £5.3m.

Redde reported last year that its latest legal business, Your Law, set up with National Accident Helpline, had showed ‘encouraging progress’ and continued to build its caseload and levels of settlement. This has resulted in a greater proportion of cases from outside the RTA claims sector.

When the merger was announced last year, Northgate pledged to create a ‘leading integrated mobility solutions platform with the scale, reach and resources to provide customers with a comprehensive suite of mobility services’.

It has not been confirmed what, if any, impact the merger will have on the legal services subsidiaries, Cardiff-based NewLaw and north west firm Principia.

Northgate shares were today down 5.1%, at 267.5p.