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Latest deal for law firm consolidator as M&A rumbles on

Stockdale: Strengthening local delivery teams in property

Law firm consolidator Metamorph Group has unveiled its latest acquisition, adding Southampton-based property law firm Beeton Edwards to its portfolio.

Coming off the back of a deal in March [1] to buy Buckinghamshire firm Browns Solicitors, Metamorph now has revenues of around £36m and 700 staff across the country.

This is its 12th acquisition in five years and the group now consists of 11 law firms across England.

Beeton Edwards handles both residential and commercial property work, with a team of 12 people.

Metamorph’s executive chairman, Tony Stockdale, said: “The team at Beeton Edwards have built a great business, built on the foundations of delivering exceptional client service.

“We’ve been looking to strengthen our local delivery teams in the property sector and the team joining us will add to our already strong property law offering, both locally and nationally.”

In other M&A news, distributed firm nexa law acquired franchising boutique Goldstein Legal, headed by Roz Goldstein, a former Burger King lawyer who sits on the board of the British Franchise Association.

The Goldstein Legal team of four joins the nexa platform and will work closely with Amy Leite, nexa’s existing franchise lawyer. Clients include Australian top 200 company Collins Foods, which operates over 350 restaurants including KFCs, Taco Bells and its own brand, Sizzler, in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Nexa now has over 100 consultant lawyers on its platform. Founder and co-chief executive Eliot Hibbert said: “It has been a massively exciting year for nexa as we push hard to become the challenger brand of choice for ambitious consultant and freelance lawyers.

“Goldstein Legal adds real depth and strength for us in a really important business sector.”

Midlands firm Portfolio Legal is now in Cardiff too after merging with commercial property practice Novello Law, its five joiners – including founder Talia Atkins – meaning Portfolio now has 20 staff.

In a statement, Portfolio Law said it was now a full-service practice: “This acquisition adds to the extensive experience of the Portfolio Legal team, not just on the legal side, but on the commercial side.

“Many of our team members have launched, invested in, managed, scaled and exited a broad range of businesses. This means that we’ve been ‘the client’ on countless occasions, so we truly understand our own clients’ needs, concerns and requirements. It’s our USP.”

Lincolnshire-based Sills & Betteridge has acquired Sheffield practice Rawson Family Law as it continues to build up its South Yorkshire footprint.

Sills, which has more than 320 partners and staff, moved into South Yorkshire in 2018 and 12 months later merged with Bridge Sanderson Munro. “This latest development realises our aspiration to expand into Sheffield, where we ultimately plan to provide a full range of legal services,” the firm said in a statement.

Founder Louise Rawson, who joins as a solicitor, said it had been “hugely rewarding” building up the firm “but I feel the time is now right to let a large firm take over the development of the practice as part of its own operations”.

Internationally, Luther and FIDAL – leading firms in Germany and France respectively with more than 2,000 staff between them and turnover topping €500m (£431m) – have created unyer, a new global organisation which will have one member per country and provide “much more than legal services”.

Its strategy is to expand into the top 20 economies worldwide in the coming years and is open to other professional services.

Christine Blaise-Engel, chief executive of unyer and senior partner at Fidal, said: “We believe that with our new organisation and approach we are fulfilling all our client’s requirements in a drastically changing environment. With unyer we can provide all services in all jurisdictions, legal and beyond.”

Dr Markus Sengpiel, co-managing partner at Luther, added: “Our strongest motivation in creating unyer was a broader internationality and exclusivity, which other organisations do not have to the same extent.

“By adding scale, a compelling industry focus and a distinctive innovative power we are now forming a game changer.”

A Swiss Verein is the umbrella for each member firm, which will retain their separate legal status and branding in their local markets.