National firm Simpson Millar has announced a joint venture with PI specialist Neil Hudgell Solicitors as consolidation in the market continues at pace. 

The two firms have joined forces to extend the reach of the website, which purchases legal practices and files.

The site was launched in 2011 by Neil Hudgell Solicitors and has so far completed 20 deals, including the purchase of four law firms.

The link with Simpson Millar, which has 11 offices in cities across England and Wales, is intended to attract firm owners looking to retire from legal practice, free up working capital or dispose of files.

‘It’s clear that the changes in the legal landscape, along with the economic climate, are continuing to prompt many lawyers to reconsider their future,’ said managing director Neil Hudgell (pictured, right, with Neil Fearn of Simpson Millar). ‘Our offer to purchase practices and files is proving a timely option attractive to many professionals.’

Simpson Millar has been on an expansion spree already this year, buying a £6m book of clinical negligence work in July.

Takeover activity continued this week in the north-west, with Manchester firm Linder Myers completing a pre-pack acquisition deal for Lancashire firm Dickson Haslam.

Around 20 staff will join the firm, including two partners, either moving into combined offices or staying in their existing base to increase Linder Myers’ geographical footprint.

Dickson Haslam directors David Southern and Raymond Green said: ‘Dickson Haslam has been providing legal services in Lancashire for more than two centuries however, the current market has been the most challenging in the history of the firm. Linder Myers proved a good cultural and business fit for us with a strong infrastructure allowing us to better service clients and we look forward to working with our new colleagues.’

Linder Myers merged with Senior Calveley & Hardy in Lancashire, Drummonds in Chester and acquired SNG Commercial in Manchester in October 2012.

The firm offers private client and commercial legal services at offices in Manchester, Cheshire, Shropshire and Lancashire with a total headcount of 322, including 54 partners.