Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans to vote on £50 million tie-up

London player and Thames Valley outfit confirm ‘exploratory merger discussions’

London City Bircham Dyson Bell

London law firm Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) and Thames Valley outfit Pitmans are in talks over a possible merger.

In a joint statement issued this morning, the duo revealed they were holding “exploratory merger discussions” that, if successful, would create a new 80 partner outfit with over 400 staff and a combined turnover of £50 million. A formal vote with partners will take place on 27 September.

The announcement said that there are a number of “obvious synergies” between the two firms including “sector focus, culture and geography.” It continued:

“We have decided to make this announcement now so that we can be transparent with our staff and clients throughout the process. As the discussions progress we will make further announcements.”

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So what do you need to know about the two firms?

The much larger of the two, BDB is headquartered in London and dishes out around five training contracts each year. It covers a broad range of practice areas including banking, commercial, public law and family. For the 2017/18 financial year, BDB posted a turnover of £33.7 million and profit per equity partner (PEP) of £224,000. BDB expanded out of the capital for the first time last year after snapping up King & Wood Mallesons’ real estate team in Cambridge.

Meanwhile, Pitmans takes on around eight trainees each year and has offices in Reading, London and Southampton. Its latest set of financials show a turnover of £18.8 million and PEP of £250,000. The firm, which swallowed up London-based Calvert Solicitors in 2015, handles work including commercial, property and employment.

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