How the merger will work. BLM (left), meet Clyde & Co (right).
Partners at Clyde & Co and BLM have voted for the two firms to merge in July.
The new firm is to be called, erm, Clyde & Co, as BLM doesn't even get a place on the letterhead. Although, given the rise and rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, BLM is probably desperate to ditch the letters, just to leave behind the client jokes.
It follows several months of discussions, after RollOnFriday broke the news that the two firms were considering a combination.
RollOnFriday asked BLM about its name being dropped. “Clyde & Co is a much larger entity and has a strong global brand, one which we are proud to become part of," said a BLM spokeswoman. "For us, BLM is not just a name. BLM’s strengths are its people and this is what our clients see; they will merge with Clyde & Co colleagues to strengthen the offering of the newly merged firm.”
It should be great news for Clydes which picks up some more clients (particularly for casualty insurance work) and doesn't even dent the brand. Meanwhile, having been accused of abandoning its trainees, and slashing business support roles during the pandemic, BLM may have concluded that it was time to hook up with a bigger firm.
A Clyde & Co statement extolled the virtue of the
takeover merger, stating that the addition of BLM will take Clyde & Co to a global revenue of over £700m per annum, a headcount of over 5,000, with offices in over 60 cities worldwide.
“We are delighted the merger has secured approval from both sets of partners," said Clyde & Co’s Senior Partner Carolena Gordon. "At Clyde & Co we are always focused on growing and developing our offering for the good of our clients and our people and this merger does exactly that. BLM has highly talented people and outstanding client relationships and we are excited by the potential of this combination”
Matthew Harrington, BLM Senior Partner, said: “We are looking forward to the opportunities combining both firms will bring for our people and our clients. This merger is one of aligned approaches and values, offering huge benefits to our clients in the areas that matter most."
RollOnFriday asked Clyde & Co and BLM if either firm anticipated having to make redundancies due to the combination, or whether all staff would join the new entity. A BLM spokeswoman replied: "I can confirm that BLM employees will become part of Clyde & Co on 1 July." A Clyde & Co spokesman responded: “At this early stage of the integration process we are reviewing how to best combine the two businesses, and will be able to provide further detail in due course. We realise that as well as being an exciting time for both firms, change like this can also be unsettling."
The Clydes spokesman added: "But it’s important to stress that this merger is based on our shared ambitions to be the market leading provider of legal services in this space and our focus as we integrate will be on ensuring we have the scale, service offering, technology and delivery processes to meet the needs of our clients now and in the future.”
Clyde & Co's last major takeover was Barlow Lyde & Gilbert in 2011, when it created a firm with a total headcount of around 2,250 staff. Since then it has hoovered up various smaller firms: Simpson & Marwick (2015), Lee & Lyons (2016), Sedgwick (2018) and SHK Law Corporation (2021). It remains to be seen whether Clydes is full for now, or gets peckish again soon.