Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

National Law Firm in City Deal

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

National Law Firm in City Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHON MANNING Reporter jonathon.manning@reachplc.com @JONNYAMANNING

NEWCASTLE law firm Watson Burton has been acquired by national law firm Weightmans, giving the larger legal practice its first footing in the city.

The two firms have been in discussions since July, but only began firming up the talks in August. The deal sees Watson Burton become Weightman's eighth UK office. Along with its head office in Liverpool, Weightmans has offices in Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, London and Manchester.

Weightmans' managing partner John Schorah said that Watson Burton was a great fit for the business, adding that he hoped to grow the Newcastle office and add a new personal injury team to the practice. Mr Schorah said: "We are always on the lookout and I think there will be more consolidation in the legal industry.

"There is more to be said about economies of scale for investing in tech which is becoming more and more important, and making sure we have as full a set of skill and capabilities to offer our clients as possible.

"The full Watson Burton team fits very well within the organisations that we work with. They have a great personal indemnity practice, they are very strong with owner-managed businesses. They have some good education clients and in energy they have some good energy clietns.

"So the business fits very well with the clients and sectors here.

"They don't have a personal injury side of things that we do, but that is something we will look to grow."

Weightmans will now carry out a 100-day plan to manage the combination smoothly.

The firm's first Newcastle office opened this week and will incorporate the existing Watson Burton LLP business, clients and staff operating from St James' Gate in the city centre, with plans to develop all core sectors across the region including insurance and public sector. …

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