Bond Pearce and Dickie Dees seal merger to create Bond Dickinson

Partners from Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees have voted through a merger under the name Bond Dickinson, creating a £95m firm with offices in eight UK locations.

The tie-up, which will go live on 1 May next year, will create a firm with 136 partners and a total of around 1,200 staff, with their combined revenues placing the new firm inside the UK top 40.

Bond Dickinson will be headed up by Dickinson Dees managing partner Jonathan Blair, who will take up the same role at the combined firm, alongside Nick Page, who will act as chairman, the same role he held at Bond Pearce.

John Marshall of Dickinson Dees and Victor Tettmar of Bond Pearce will complete the firm’s senior management team, as vice chair and executive partner respectively.

The combined firm will have bases in Aberdeen, Bristol, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton and Tees Valley. The firms have agreed to combine their London teams in new and larger premises, to accommodate both their existing staff and potential new recruits.

Bond Pearce’s turnover currently stands at £46.5m alongside profits per equity partner (PEP) of £220,000, while Dickinson Dees recently posted a 2% turnover rise to £46.1m for 2011-12, with PEP expected to be in the region of £240,000-£250,000.

Their combined turnover is set to create a firm bigger in revenue terms than national rivals such as Shoosmiths and Berrymans Lace Mawer.

Blair (pictured) said: “As we said when we announced our discussions, both firms had clearly articulated strategies. Our merger is a major step in the delivery of those plans and our new scale will give us the strength in depth and sector insight to support our clients’ growth plans. The merger will give us a strong base for further growth and lateral recruitment.”

Page added: “Both firms have had a great deal of support and encouragement from their clients during this process. Bond Dickinson will draw on the best of both firms to build on the great reputation that each has for quality work.”

Confirmation of the merger comes after news of the talks first emerged in early September. Bond Pearce also previously discussed a merger with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, with the talks breaking down in March this year.

The deal comes amid a period of much consolidation by law firms in the UK and further afield, with a number of tie-ups recently confirmed or currently under discussion.

Kennedys is in the process of weighing up potential mergers with Scottish firm Simpson & Marwick and aviation boutique Gates and Partner, while Field Fisher Waterhouse has recently held failed merger talks with both Osborne Clarke and LG.

Towards the upper end of the market, Norton Rose recently confirmed a tie-up with US firm Fulbright & Jaworski, while SNR Denton, Salans and Canada’s Fraser Milner Casgrain are combining to form a new global firm called Dentons.