The merger of U.K. top 50 firms Clyde & Co and BLM has taken effect, just over three months after both sides voted the combination through.
The merger will see Clyde & Co take advantage of BLM’s standing in the casualty insurance sector, with the majority of BLM’s lawyers joining this practice, while others have joined the firm’s professional liability, healthcare and business advisory teams.
In a statement on Friday, Matthew Harrington, BLM’s former senior partner, said: “The merger has created the biggest casualty practice in the U.K. and will allow clients to benefit from our expert teams across the U.K. and Ireland, while benefitting from Clyde & Co’s unparalleled international presence too.”
The firm has relaunched and rebranded its online casualty innovation platform as ‘Clyde & Co Newton’, the statement added.
The firm will have a total headcount of more than 5,000, including 2,600 lawyers, with offices in 60 cities worldwide. Clyde & Co has 440 equity partners, compared with BLM’s 50.
Salaried partners at BLM have become ‘legal directors’ following the combination.
In a statement in June, Clyde & Co said that the group will be given the opportunity to apply for one of two roles: either a newly created salaried partner role existing solely in the Clydes’ casualty practice, or else apply to become a full partner, which a person with knowledge of the process said would make them part of the equity partnership.
Based on revenue, the merged firm places 12th in the U.K. top 50, overtaking firms such as Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Ashurst.
Meanwhile Clyde & Co’s PEP figure is three times as high — £715,000 to BLM’s £216,000 for the financial year 2020/21.
This difference in scale is one of many challenges that former insiders at the firm believe the merger poses, with one rival commenting that the union “makes absolutely no sense.”
A number of BLM lawyers had left the firm ahead of its union with Clydes, including a six-strong team to Browne Jacobson in June.
Chris Murray, partner at Clyde & Co, added in the statement: “Becoming the largest player in U.K. casualty gives us the largest data set in the sector and the ability to invest in the technology that fully unlocks its potential and Clyde & Co Newton is our banner for this technology and innovation”.