Changing market forces, changing client needs

Clyde & Co and BLM – Building a resilient future

Combining both businesses 
will help us realise true 
operational excellence. 
We will be able to respond 
rapidly to the needs of our 
clients and people, and 
leverage the largest data 
set in the market to provide 
insight on market and 
claims trends to best help 
our clients." - Vivienne Williams
Managing Partner,
at BLM


As you may have read in the press, Clyde & Co and BLM have agreed to a merger. 

This combination of two leading insurance law firms into a single, unified brand will create a market-leading casualty, PI and healthcare practice, and provide a single point of entry to a comprehensive insurance offering across the entirety of the UK and Ireland.

Market outlook – drivers for change

The current market is changing at pace; clients across the UK are consolidating to realise efficiencies and economies of scale. At the same time, panel sizes are reducing, and insurance composites are increasingly looking for national, full-service firms with leading individuals that can offer regional support; a demand that the combined firm will meet.

Much like our clients, law firms are also consolidating. For us, consolidation means we will create unrivalled scale and investment potential to deliver  the innovation, automation, and richness of data that our clients require. 

For us to provide our clients with a best-in-class service, the increased regional capacity that we will be able to offer is critical. This shift in the market presents the perfect opportunity for us to strengthen our offering across the UK, enhancing Clyde & Co’s UK coverage with BLM’s leading regional platform.

We anticipate that this new, strengthened proposition will provide future opportunities for expansion, as we are able to better provide legal support and complementary services to existing and new clients wherever they do business within the UK, enabling us to deliver on the promises we make to our clients.

I believe that this is an exciting time for our clients, who will have a true strategic partner in this space, and across all aspects of business; a partner that puts insurance at the absolute centre of everything we do.

James Cooper Partner and chair of the Global Insurance Practice Group, Clyde & Co


Strategic rationale

We have looked very carefully at who we might merge with. It is critical for us to balance the benefits of consolidation against the need for real competition, which is important for our clients, and necessary to maintain checks and balances amongst competing firms.

The proposed merger will engender greater resilience, support investment in the areas that matter most to clients and will assist in the retention and attraction of key talent. Our clients will also have sustained future access to a larger, market-leading firm with greater bench strength and an aligned approach to client service.

Clients have been increasingly looking for national, full service firms with regional operations, and this merger is in direct response to those needs. We will fill the respective gaps in each other’s client relationships and provide our clients with greatly increased presence in Ireland and Scotland, and in various centres of business across the UK.

It is critical for us to combine with a firm that reflects our own values and culture. A clear ESG agenda, a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, and a focus on client relationships will be at the centre of this combined firm. We will continue to seek ways to pursue greener, sustainable business practices, and ensure that we are promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce. In short, this merger will create an enduring firm with a clear commitment to our clients, our people and the world around us.

This merger puts us at the heart of the market, delivering the highest quality legal services to our clients, whilst offering continued, long-term stability and reliability  in a constantly changing market.

Chris Murray, Partner and UK Board member, Clyde & Co

This merger is one of aligned approaches and values, and one that offers huge benefits to our clients in the areas that matter most. It’s not a revolution, but an evolution.

Matthew Harrington, Senior Partner, BLM 

This merger offers our clients numerous benefits

As outlined above, consolidation offers efficiencies and economies of scale, which means more resources to develop the best and most advanced solutions that our clients need. Consolidating with another firm with significant casualty capability enables us to increase our investments in technology and automation, which offers our clients richer data to predict case outcomes, reduce indemnity spend and release reserves. Our combined firm will have the financial stability and profitability to continue to invest in these areas.

While 64% of Clyde & Co’s annual UK income is generated from our operations in London, 80% of BLM’s operations are regional, including offices in strategically significant locations. We can offer our clients the greatest coverage in the UK and Ireland, without compromising our existing strengths, or existing relationships; our clients will continue to work with individuals that they already know, ensuring consistency and quality of service.

Together, we will have relationships with 95% of providers in the UK, delivering a wealth of data for our clients in terms of benchmarking, predictions and data-led business decisions.

We will be at the heart of an evolving and shifting market, creating an unrivalled depth and breadth of expertise and positioning us as the firm of choice for all casualty, PI and healthcare matters.

Expanding our reach


Questions you may have

Can we manage the scale of necessary investment and resource to drive a successful merger?

Absolutely. This move is very much in line with our history and approach to growth. Clyde & Co has a long history of taking on quality legal practices in its core sectors, with fantastic lawyer and quality client relationships and integrating them successfully into its global platform, structures and professional management. This potential merger would be very much in line with historic business and growth strategies. 

Aren’t you reducing my choice, because there’s a less competitive environment?

We do not believe so. We have carefully weighed the current market and competition with the significant reduction in panel sizes, and the current stability of the firms in the casualty space. Our forecast is that within three years we will see the number of large firms with casualty practices reduce from 9 to 5, almost entirely as a result of consolidation. 

As our clients are consolidating to realise greater efficiencies and economies of scale, so too are law firms. With this in mind, we are confident that this consolidation – a direct response to these market changes – will still mean clients and providers will have substantial choice on who they want on panel.

Aren’t you going to be distracted by integration instead of focusing on the work?

No. We have a great deal of experience of integrating without compromising quality of service across the firm. Our absolute priority is to our clients, and we are committed and dedicated to ensuring that our clients do not experience any drop in levels of quality, or disruption in service. Indeed, that we have previously undertaken similar integrations without negative impact to our clients is a testament to our ability to complete this merger seamlessly, meaning clients only experience the benefits.

Will there be a lot of conflicts? 

When two leading firms in the space consolidate, some conflicts are inevitable. That said, we are supremely confident that this merger presents very few conflicts, given the clean synergies in existing relationships. Of course, there will be a few potential conflicts, but we will work through those during due diligence.

Isn’t this just about you making more money? 

As with any business, our objective is to grow revenue and profit. Importantly for our clients, there are  tremendous benefits to us achieving these objectives: Increased revenue means we can continue to invest heavily in automation and innovation, and can continue to drive improved efficiency and predictability. Consolidation represents a clear avenue for improving our services, tools and processes through greater levels of investment, all of which offer our clients increased opportunities to lower their overall indemnity spend.

View our news article about the merger between Clyde & Co and BLM

Key contacts

Chris Murray

Partner, Clyde & Co

+44 0 161 240 2659

Matthew Harrington

Senior Partner, BLM

+44 0 20 7865 3390