Wragge & Co agrees Lawrence Graham merger in historic deal

Deal comes after Lawrence Graham voted against a £150m merger with Field Fisher Waterhouse

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Partners at one of London’s oldest legal firms, the 280-year-old Lawrence Graham, have approved a merger with Birmingham-based rival Wragge & Co.

The deal will propel what will be known as Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co to the cusp of Britain’s biggest 20 legal eagles, with turnover of £171 million and 770 lawyers across 10 offices worldwide, including Guangzhou in China and Dubai.

The combined entity will be number one ranked for advising firms by value on the junior AIM stock exchange, while industry sources believe the firm will now be in a position to challenge the bigger players for more lucrative work.

Lawrence Graham’s clients already include some of the FTSE’s biggest names, such as HSBC and Legal & General, while Wragge & Co recently advised Mountain Warehouse founder Mark Neale on an £85 million deal to buyout the outdoor clothing retailer.

Lawrence Graham senior partner Andrew Witts will become chairman of the new group, which will formally merge in April. He said the deal will “forge a bigger, better and stronger firm for our clients and people”.

The deal comes after partners at Lawrence Graham voted against a £150 million merger with Field Fisher Waterhouse last year.

Wragge’s London lawyers are based in Holborn, but will now move to Lawrence Graham’s South Bank base. It is unclear how many redundancies will result from the merger.