City firm BDB Pitmans adds private wealth boutique

Portrait Solicitors’ trio of partners to join BDB next April with team of associates after ‘many years’ of collaboration

City law firm BDB Pitmans announced today that it has agreed to merge with private wealth boutique Portrait Solicitors.

Set to complete next April, the merger will see Portrait’s partners ­­– Judith Portrait, Dominic Flynn and Helen Johnston –­ join BDB’s City office alongside the firm’s trio of associates.

Alastair Collett, head of private wealth at BDB, said the firms had worked together on “a variety of charity and private client matters over many years”, adding that “I am delighted that we have the opportunity to combine teams and better serve our clients.”

Portrait Solicitors was founded in 1995 as a City firm focused on private client work and counts estate planning and wills, trusts, estate administration, charity law and agriculture and landed estates as key practice areas.

BDB managing partner Andrew Smith said the merger would strengthen its existing capabilities in those areas in its private wealth and charities teams. The firm’s charities practice houses seven lawyers including two partners and counts Cancer Research UK and the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity among its clients, while its private wealth team is made up of more than 20 professionals including eight partners.

Flynn commented: “This is a wonderful merger for us and it will be very exciting to be part of a greatly strengthened team with our new colleagues at BDB Pitmans to provide excellent client service.”

Other UK law firms looking to grow their private wealth offering recently include listed firm Ince, which at the end of last month unveiled an integrated offering for high-net-worth individuals combining legal advice with wealth management services.

Top 100 UK firm Fladgate in May launched a family office service through its Walgate brand, which was set up to offer non-legal professional services to its clients, providing administration support for wealthy families including financial reporting, risk management, asset and property management and philanthropy.

And in January, Taylor Wessing boosted its Europe-based private client lawyer headcount to more than 100 when it secured an 11-strong private client team in London from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, having hired private client co-head Damian Bloom and fellow partner Simon Phelps the previous November.


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