National firm Ashfords has called off a proposed merger with Reading firm Boyes Turner, citing ‘structural reasons’. Plans for the merger, which would have created a 100-partner firm with annual revenues of £60m, were announced at the end of last year

In a statement tonight, Ashfords LLP said: 'Following months of discussions it has been agreed that the structural differences of Ashfords and Boyes Turner are currently too far apart to work at this time. Ashfords has seen strong financial growth in recent years and the merger process has served to highlight its strength as an independent.’

Garry Mackay, chief executive, said: ’We have seen 76% growth over the last six years and are currently having a strong year with initial indications from all departments that there is significant growth potential for next year. We have a number of initiatives and investments that we will continue to focus on as we look to further innovate and develop services and product lines that support clients beyond their normal periodic transactional legal needs.

Andrew Chalkley and Garry Mackay

Andrew Chalkley and Garry Mackay

’I would like to take this opportunity to wish BT every success. It is a great firm with great people and I have no doubt will be successful.’

 Boyes Turner's Andrew Chalkley had a similar message: 'We looked very closely into the benefits of this proposed merger but, on balance, we decided that it was not the right decision for Boyes Turner, our people and our clients.

'We have seen double-digit growth in recent years and this has continued into the current financial year. The merger discussions highlighted our strength as a business and the quality of the people we have in our team, so we can look to the future with real confidence.

'The long history of the Boyes Turner name will continue in Reading, the Thames Valley and the southeast as we build the next stage in our story.'