24 Jan 2022

Royds Withy King finalises merger talks with City boutique Goodman Derrick

Combined firm to sit among top 70 UK law firms by revenue

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UK top 100 firm Royds Withy King and commercial law firm Goodman Derrick have successfully completed merger talks and are to become one firm by the end of May, in a move that will launch the combined firm into the top 70 in the UK by revenue. 

RWK Goodman will house around 360 lawyers operating from Royds Withy King’s eight offices in the Southwest, Thames Valley and London beginning in May and have an annual turnover in excess of £50m. 

Goodman Derrick’s City office will close upon completion of the merger, with the firm’s lawyers and staff expected to move to Royds Withy King’s London base at 69 Carter Lane. Around a third of the combined firm’s lawyers will be based in London, according to a statement. 

Graham Street, Royds Withy King’s managing partner, characterised the deal as a “significant step forward” for the two firms, adding that merger solidifies its position in the top 100 rankings in the UK while also “significantly extending” the firm’s corporate and real estate capabilities. 

The Bath-based firm boasts a staff headcount of around 480, including 65 partners, and advises clients in areas including corporate, commercial, private client and family. 

Street, who has led Royds Withy King as managing partner since 2010, will stay on as the combined firm’s managing partner while Goodman Derrick’s senior partner Edward Hoare and chief operating officer Mark Jones will serve on the firm’s executive committee. 

“It was clear from the outset that both firms shared a similar culture and focus on exceptional client service,” Hoare said. “The merger is great news as it extends the range of specialist services available for the benefit of both firms’ clients and creates significant opportunities for growth and development.”

Goodman Derrick’s headcount sits at 90 including 20 partners. Its core practice areas include corporate and corporate transactions, employment law, real estate, construction, dispute resolution and wealth and family. 

The deal comes amid a flurry of merger activity among UK law firms, with a study published last week revealing that nearly half are considering M&A to expand faster than organic growth allows, with 23% of those already in talks over a possible deal and 57% actively seeking one. 

Earlier this month, top 45 UK firm Weightmans unveiled plans to merge with London outfit RadclisffesLeBrasseur by the end of March. The new firm will house more than 225 partners and 1,400 professionals and have a combined annual revenue of around £120m, putting it between the likes of top 40 UK firms Mills & Reeve and Slater and Gordon.

And last November, UK top 50 law firms Clyde & Co and BLM were revealed to be in talks over a potential merger that would combine Clyde’s 2,440 legal professionals with BLM’s 790-lawyer strong UK network to create a combined firm with revenues of around £735m. 

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