UK law firms agree merger
Wednesday 18 December 1996
The combined firm, to be known as Cameron McKenna, will open for business on 1 May 1997. While it will aim to take on the other leading firms on a broad front, it will have particular strengths in banking and insolvency, insurance, construction, energy and healthcare.
Cameron Markby Hewitt senior partner Bill Shelford is due to become senior partner of the new firm.
Yesterday's move, which comes as the second tier of City law firms is under increasing pressure, had been expected for some time, with some speculating that a third firm, Denton Hall, might also join the new organisation. One observer predicted that the two practices might yet seek another partner, possibly from the United States, in an attempt to challenge the truly international players in the top five.
Adrian Burn, of accountants Binder Hamlyn, which advises many law firms, described the merger as "a wise move" that was likely to be followed by other link-ups. Earlier this year, Dibb Lupton Broomhead, the aggressive regional-based firm that was previously the country's 10th-biggest, took in Alsop Wilkinson to become the seventh-largest firm.
While the top five firms, headed by Clifford Chance, are increasingly competing internationally with the biggest US firms, about 40 firms earning fees of between about pounds 20m and pounds 90m a year are facing increasing competition from each other, from operations that have lower overheads through being based outside London, from US practices and from the large accountancy firms, which are increasingly eyeing the lucrative legal market as a counter to audit and other compliance-type work.
This year, Arthur Andersen announced that its legal operation earned about pounds 15m. Figures published by Legal Business show Cameron Markby Hewitt and McKenna & Co were the 14th and 15th largest firms, with fee income of about pounds 50m each.
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...