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'Our breadth and quality of service is unparalleled'

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: May 07, 2013

  • Partners Derek Jones, left, and Jon Whitbread, right, with promoted team members Mark Carter, Andrew Turner, Matthew Wolton, Lucinda Baker, back, Kristine Scott, Emile Darwin, Tim Crane and Rachel Roberts

  • Rod Thomas

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Q? Why have Harrison Clark and Rickerbys decided to merge at this time?

THE opportunity arose through a discussion between the two organisations and, once we started, it was clear very quickly that the synergies between the two businesses were enormous.

The goals of the business are very similar. This, together with our client base and the experience and qualities of our staff, meant the long-term rationale for the merger was very quickly apparent to everyone.

We have for some time observed and respected Rickerbys as a leading law firm in the region and vice versa.

Q? How will the two law firms operate in future?

THE two firms are currently operating within a co-operation agreement, under the trading name of Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

The formal merger will complete within the next few weeks.

We choose to do matters this way as we wanted to progress matters as soon as possible, so that the full range of services of both firms were available to our clients immediately .

Q? How will it help the service provided to clients?

HOPEFULLY, clients will only see improvements in the overall service that we provide. One of the key drivers behind the merger was to be able to ensure we can provide a breadth and quality of service that is unparalleled in the region.

Q? What strengths do the two law firms have and how will the merger improve and expand these?

IN many ways there are a huge number of similarities between the two businesses.

They are both well established in their respective market places and provide a broad range of services and sector specialities.

Our hope is that between the merger of the two firms, we will be able to increase this range of services as well as add other specialist teams.

Q? What differences will existing clients notice?

WE believe, the only changes clients will notice will be positive. Our fee structures remain as previously. You will, of course, notice our change in brand.

Q? What will happen to the existing Harrison Clark and Rickerbys premises in Cheltenham?

IN due course it makes sense for both firms to operate within one building. We are working towards this over the coming months.

As the two buildings are only 300 yards apart, it shouldn't make a great deal of difference to clients or staff.

Q? Will there be any changes in staff numbers?

THE firms now have a combined staff of 350 and a turnover of £20million, which puts us within striking distance of becoming a top 100 law firm.

As we grow our offer, it is likely that we will increase in staff numbers to support this.

Q? How do you see the merged law firm progressing in the future?

THE long-term strategy of the firm is to continue to expand the full range of services we are able to offer within the three counties and to grow the office we have in the Thames Valley, which provides a natural link between our three counties base and the increasing number of matters that we have that have both a national and international element.

In addition, we have a growing number of key sectors which means that we have national credibility in these chosen fields.

In particular, our education and health and social care teams are as strong as any firms in the country.

Q? How important do you see Harrison Clark Rickerbys role in the wider community both through CSR and economic initiatives like the Local Enterprise Partnership?

HARRISON Clark has a charitable Trust which has, over the last six years, raised and donated over £100K to charities and good causes throughout the Three Counties.

Rickerbys has also played a strong part in the community through fund raising for a nominated local charity each year.

We all have a role to play in supporting our local communities, whether this is through our leadership or through the donation of our time, expertise, skills or funds.

This is exactly what you would expect from firms that have a combined history in the area of more than 300 years.

Q? Is Gloucestershire a good place to do business?

GLOUCESTERSHIRE is well located with good transport links, an excellent reputation for culture, great schools, retail and leisure facilities.

It makes an excellent place to live and work.

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