Acquisition number 7 for law firm consolidator

Ball: Joining Metamorph’s management team

Consolidator Metamorph Law has made its first acquisition for a year – and seventh in total in less than three years – by buying Hampshire legal practice Verisona Law, which has itself only just merged with another local firm.

Verisona has offices in Portsmouth, Waterlooville and Gosport, the latter trading as Donnelly & Elliott following a merger only announced last month.

It is a 70-person firm with a broad commercial and private client practice, and is expected to add revenues of about £5m a year to Metamorph, taking it beyond £27m.

It gives Metamorph a total employee count of 470, of whom around 350 are engaged in front-line legal services.

Metamorph’s existing Southampton office – which it bought in 2017 and was operating under the name of its first acquisition, Linder Myers – will now trade under the Verisona brand.

Metamorph executive chairman Tony Stockdale said: “This acquisition adds further depth and quality to our operations and brings some of the leading legal teams in the area into our business.

“It adds a respected local brand to our stable and fits perfectly with our strategy to grow as a single business with multiple brands.”

Verisona’s managing director, Sue Ball, will join the Metamorph management team. She said: “We are very proud that Metamorph Law has seen such potential in all we have built and achieved over the past decade.

“Though there will be no difference in terms of our client service, being part of the group strengthens all Verisona Law has to offer and ensures a bright future for both our clients and highly valued staff.”

Verisona was created in 2008 by the merger of Dyer Burdett & Co in Havant and Gray Purdue in Waterlooville.

Metamorph Law operates as a single business with multiple local and national brands. The others are Linder Myers in the north-west of England and Terry Jones Solicitors in Shropshire as private client brands, SLC for the volume ground rent and service charge property market, and BPL for panel-related residential conveyancing

An alternative business structure, Metamorph entered the market in May 2016 by buying Linder Myers in a pre-pack deal. There were four more deals in 2017 and just the one last year.

The model sees Metamorph acquire the assets and merge the business of firms – but not the previous business structure itself – within its own corporate structure.

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