HBJ, Addleshaw Goddard partners agree merger

The partners of international law firm Addleshaw Goddard and Scottish legal firm HBJ have voted “by an overwhelming majority” to merge their businesses and create the UK’s 15th largest legal firm.

The merger will see HBJ’s “business, people and partners transfer to Addleshaw Goddard” by June 1, 2017.

Addleshaw Goddard said the enlarged firm will have offices in each of the UK’s leading financial centres, a growing presence in Asia and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) alongside a world-wide network.

With about 230 partners, more than 1,100 lawyers and a combined fee income of about £224 million, it will rank 15th by UK income alone, Addleshaw Goddard said.

John Joyce, managing partner, Addleshaw Goddard said: “We have for a while had an ambition to be present in Scotland and so are delighted with the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from the partners, clients and staff of both firms.

“Overall, it’s a great fit for our clients and our people and we are looking forward to realising the collective benefits of our enhanced geographical reach, increased practice and sector bench-strength and flexibility in our delivery approach.

“This important development is just one aspect of our strategic ambitions and we remain committed to further expansion internationally and in the UK.”

Malcolm McPherson, chairman of HBJ, said: “The combination of two such capable and growing firms is extremely good news for our clients, our people and our partners.

“The overwhelming majority of partners at both firms clearly saw the many benefits of the merger strategy and the fact that it positions us very well for further strong growth.

“In particular, we are confident that our cross-border capabilities will quickly lead to an increased pipeline of business, as existing and future clients learn more about the significant advantages this deal will deliver for them.”

The enlarged firm will retain Addleshaw Goddard’s management structure.

Charles Penney remains senior partner and John Joyce continues as managing partner.

Malcolm McPherson from HBJ will join the Addleshaw Goddard board.

An HBJ partner will also join the executive teams leading each of Addleshaw Goddard’s four operating divisions: corporate & commercial, finance & projects, litigation and real estate.