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Law firm looking to acquire again

Friday 1 February 2013 4:00

National business law firm DWF has announced its intention to acquire Cobbetts LLP, as part of its strategic growth plans.

Commercial law firm Cobbetts, which has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London and Manchester, was hit by poorer than expected trading in November and December last year and obtained an interim statutory moratorium to enable a sale of the business and its assets.

The firm had expanded during the buoyant first half of the last decade and, following the credit crunch and recession, had attempted to cut costs.

DWF, which has offices throughout the UK and employs some 1,400 people, merged with Crutes in Newcastle a year ago to establish a North East presence.

In a statement DWF said: “It is believed by the members of both firms that a sale to DWF represents a solution that would secure the most favourable outcome for its creditors, members, people and clients. For clients this move would facilitate the continuation of service delivery and business as usual, with the same service terms they have enjoyed at Cobbetts, thereby ensuring a smooth transition for them and their business interests.’’

Managing partner and chief executive of DWF Andrew said: “DWF’s plans to grow, in a strategic, targeted way have been clearly set out and this move supports that goal. I am confident that the merging of the two firms would bring genuine benefits to both and, importantly, the joint client base. There are many synergies between the two firms in terms of the sectors in which we operate and this collaboration will further strengthen our existing business. I am very much looking forward to welcoming the new team to DWF.”

The transfer of staff to DWF will start in the next seven days if the deal is approved.

Leaitherland added: “The legal industry as a whole has faced significant challenges. We will do all we can to make the integration as smooth as possible, however, as you’d expect in a move of this size, there are some areas of overlap and we may have to displace people or find them alternative roles.  We will work hard to support all those involved.”