No plans to float in the short term, says Shakespeare Martineau

THE newly-merged Shakespeare Martineau legal firm is unlikely to follow fellow Birmingham firm Gateley in seeking a listing, at least not in the short term.

Speaking to, Andy Raynor, CEO of the new entity, said: “With regard to flotation we are on the touchline watching what others do.”

Shakespeares and SGH Martineau confirmed they are to merge last week. They expect to complete the deal on June 15.

Shakespeare Martineau will employ 900 people with a combined annual turnover of £75m.

It will have offices in Birmingham, Leicester, London, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Solihull, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sheffield and Brussels although Raynor confirmed that the Shakespeares team is is to move out of its central Birmingham office in Temple Street and into SGH Martineau’s offices in nearby Colmore Square.

Emma Shipp, managing partner at SGH Martineau, is to be a main board member of the merged company and will help to bring the project together.

“We need to make sure people interact,” she said.

“This is a key role going forward.”

Raynor suggested that she and he would be like “Siamese twins” for the first three months.

Explaining the thinking behind the merger, Raynor said: “In all honesty it was the ability to take a real step forward.

“When Emma and I first met, it was clear that both Shakespeares and Martineau were very ambitious firms.”

Shipp said: “Since becoming merger partners it has quickly become obvious we would have strength in depth in our core areas but also additional areas of expertise.”

In terms of potential job losses as a result of overlapping services, Raynor said it was probably too early to say.

“We have to learn about each first rather than anything else,” he said.

“But this is more about re-organisation.”

Shipp added: “This merger was not about cost saving.”

Commenting on the different structures now available to legal firms, Raynor said: “It depends very much on the individual firm.

“We make no call at this stage about the future structure of the business.

“But the reality is that change is taking place {in the sector} and we have to be as good as we can possibly be.

“This merger allows us to do that.”


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