Penningtons Manches has announced it is to merge with Thomas Cooper, a specialist firm known for its work in shipping, international trade and international arbitration with offices in London, Paris, Madrid, Piraeus, Singapore and Sao Paulo.
Penningtons Manches Cooper, the integrated business, will have a combined turnover of over £90 million.
Building on the robust and rapid growth of Penningtons Manches’ international litigation and arbitration practice, the merger brings Thomas Cooper’s significant strength and capabilities in the field to complement the firm’s existing areas of expertise. Crucially, it will also provide access to the key international arbitration hubs of Paris and Singapore.
The deal also represents an expansion into the shipping sector, with Thomas Cooper’s clients now having the opportunity to benefit from the full range of Penningtons Manches’ services, including banking and finance, immigration, employment, real estate litigation, corporate tax and restructuring.
Marking Penningtons Manches’ second international venture after successfully establishing an office in San Francisco in 2014, the additional strategic locations will provide the potential to further develop a global client base and ensure continued access to Europe in the post Brexit era.
The merger is the firm’s first major transaction since Penningtons and Manches joined forces in 2013, a deal which is now considered one of the most successful mid-sized law firm mergers in recent years.
David Raine, Penningtons Manches’ CEO, said: “This is a very exciting and historic day for both our firms. Thomas Cooper has a long and proud history in shipping, maritime and cross-border work, with a strong client base served by highly skilled specialist lawyers.
“The large-scale work undertaken by its international arbitration and litigation teams will really enhance the growing importance of this area of work within our current business. Moreover, having an established, on-the-ground presence in a number of important international jurisdictions is a significant advantage as we look to maintain the needs of our increasingly international client base.”
He added: “We are very much aligned from a cultural point of view. Most firms talk of offering a personal, partner-led service and a commitment to putting the client at the centre of everything. This really needs to be a given so it is refreshing and exciting to meet other lawyers like ours who go beyond that, and who evidently love the work they’re doing.”
Tim Kelleher, senior partner at Thomas Cooper commented: “Penningtons Manches has a thriving, robust business and we’ve been seriously impressed with the senior team’s vision and strategy throughout this process. By joining forces, our clients will benefit from a wider service offering both in the UK and internationally – in particular they will have access to skilled teams specialising in immigration, private wealth, corporate and project finance, tax and insolvency and restructuring. Following the merger we’ll be able to utilise the increased resources and turnover, as well as Penningtons Manches’ more advanced operational structure, to help facilitate further growth and innovation.”