Global network makes second UK law firm acquisition this year

Acquisition (L-R): Simon Jones, John Abbott and Guy Bate

International professional services group ETL Global has unveiled its fourth law firm deal in England and Wales after one of its earlier acquisitions bought a fellow London commercial firm.

Laytons ETL is buying five-partner Cannings Connolly, which it said has particular strengths in commercial real estate, as well as property, construction and planning litigation.

Equity partners Simon Jones and Guy Bate will join Laytons ETL as partners and the firm will relocate to Laytons headquarters in the City.

John Abbott, Laytons ETL’s managing partner, said: “Welcoming Cannings Connolly adds valuable new strings to our bow. The addition of construction and planning litigation services fulfils a strategic aim and will provide a further boost to our thriving commercial real estate and property litigation practices.

“This acquisition is the first transaction we have carried out since joining the ETL Global network last spring. It is the first step in a growth plan on which we are embarking as we take full advantage of being part of a worldwide professional services group.”

Mr Jones said the deal allowed his firm to offer clients a wider range of legal services.

“Gaining access to the wider ETL Global network will also open up new opportunities for many of our clients, providing them with the potential to access joined-up advice on international matters, delivered collaboratively by members of the same professional family.

“Likewise, we also look forward to working with Laytons ETL’s many partner firms and to helping their clients achieve the results they need in the UK market.”

Headquartered in Germany, ETL (standing for European Tax and Law) combines tax, legal, audit and accounting services. It is the 15th largest accountancy network in the world, with more than 1,200 offices in over 50 countries.

In total over 17,000 people – including more than 13,000 professionals – support more than 320,000 clients, generating revenues of around £1.3bn.

ETL generally takes a majority stake in its network firms and already has 16 accountancy practices across England and Wales on its books. In 2018, Glaisyers was its first legal acquisition here and last year it added Laytons.

In January, Glaisyers ETL took a minority stake in specialist investment fraud practice Wealth Recovery Solicitors.

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