Slater & Gordon has become “one of the UK’s largest general law firms” after completing the acquisition of Manchester-based Pannone on Friday – and indicated that it has not finished buying up practices.
The deal has increased Slater & Gordon’s headcount by about 50% to more than 1,200 across 18 offices in 13 locations.
The firm adds more than 400 staff to its Manchester-based operation, transforming it into the city’s largest legal practice.
It has acquired the majority of Pannone’s practice groups, including personal injury and serious injury, clinical negligence, Court of Protection, family, wills, trusts and probate, property, and some elements of the employment and dispute resolution team. The corporate/commercial team has spun off into an independent practice called Pannone Corporate.
The newly acquired parts of the firm will be known initially as ‘Pannone, part of Slater & Gordon’ but move to just Slater & Gordon over the coming months. Pannone staff in Manchester will remain in their current offices during this period, while the London team will join Slater & Gordon’s office on Chancery Lane.
Slater & Gordon said that next year it will bring all 700-plus Manchester-based staff under one roof.
Head of UK Neil Kinsella said: “This acquisition is a vital step in Slater & Gordon’s aim of becoming the UK’s leading law firm and our mission of providing everyday people and business men and women with easier access to world class legal services.”
Though in its half-year results last week Slater & Gordon indicated that it would be taking a breather  from more deals, after “compressing” its acquisition phase, Mr Kinsella said: “Once the initial challenges of integration are dealt with, we look forward to turning our attention to building our depth of services across the UK.”
He added: “We are proud that both firms have a strong history of fighting for justice for our clients, for example in the practice area of abuse law, where we have the responsibility and privilege of representing the majority of victims of Jimmy Savile.
“The acquisition creates the UK’s largest abuse team, to be led by Liz Dux and Richard Scorer, and we look forward to advocating for our clients to ensure their interests remain a priority for government and the community.”
Last year Slater & Gordon also acquired John Pickering & Partners, Fentons, Goodmans and the personal injury practice of Taylors Vinters. It continues to be unclear whether a deal for Simpson Millar – announced last May but put on ice in August – will be seen through.