Manchester's legal sector continues to consolidate with the acquisition by JMW Solicitors LLP of niche property law firm Goodman Harvey LLP.
The deal takes effect on 1 June and Stephen Goodman, formerly a partner at Halliwells and Hammonds before founding Goodman Harvey in 2004, and litigator Mark Jones, who joined Goodman Harvey in 2009 from George Davies, will transfer to JMW along with their teams.
Goodman Harvey – Harvey was a founding silent partner in the form of a fictional white rabbit, the company newsletter called The Bunny Bugle – has a turnover of over £1m and counts amongst its clients the Yearsley Group, Apollo Scientific, Harley International Properties, Topham Group, Praxis International Fiduciaries, Martin Dawes, Property Alliance Group, Hollins Strategic Land, Cityheart, Liberty Properties, CTP, Tushingham Moore, Stretton Estates and Pochins.
Goodman Harvey has six staff in total, three partners – Alison Parry, litigator, is the third – and three support staff, but JMW said there will be further appointments to follow. JMW currently has 210 employees.
Goodman said: "When we were first approached by another law firm, some 6 months ago, we decided that merger with a larger practise would best meet the needs of our clients now and into the future. When we met JMW we felt that they were a great fit for us. We didn't want to join a large regional or national practise but instead wanted to join a successful entrepreneurial and ambitious firm. We are all excited to be working with their strong commercial property and commercial litigation teams. Our clients have reacted very positively to the move and have seen the advantage of being able to access the full range of legal services at JMW.
Joy Kingsley, senior partner at JMW, said: "While the existing clients and work will hopefully all transfer, the value to us is considerably more than the existing work, as Goodman Harvey has traditionally outsourced all other work types, particularly corporate work."
Details of Harvey's fate were not disclosed.