Further to the commitment to merge shown by the partnership votes at Clyde & Co and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert on 28 and 29 July, the two firms have now signed heads of terms and will move forward to sign a formal merger agreement. The intention is to complete the merger of the two firms on 1 November 2011.
Peter Hasson, CEO of Clyde & Co said: "Given the positive reactions from both our partnerships and the market, we are now in a position to move forward vigorously. We have immense respect for the partners, lawyers and staff at BLG, whose practices complement rather than duplicate those of Clyde & Co. We look forward very much to working together to create a new firm that offers the very best of both."
The combined firm of Clyde & Co and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert will have 270 partners, over 1,250 fee earners and around 2,250 total staff operating from 27 offices.
It will provide clients with the scale of one of the world's top dispute resolution practices, backed by the most in-depth sector focus and expertise of any major law firm, across both contentious and transactional disciplines.
The combined firm will provide clients in the insurance sector with both the broadest business line and geographical coverage and the highest concentration of leading practitioners of any insurance law firm.
The increased scale and breadth of the firm will provide broader choices and opportunities for development and specialisation for lawyers and staff from both firms.
The name of the combined firm will be Clyde & Co.
Barlow Lyde & Gilbert has a long and prestigious reputation in its core markets and opportunities will be explored to maintain elements of the BLG brand, recognising its heritage and leading status in areas such as professional liability and catastrophic injury. However, given the greater geographical coverage and recognition of Clyde & Co in North America, the Middle East and other jurisdictions, as well as its broader sector focus across transport, trade, infrastructure, energy and commodities, management of the two firms have taken the business decision to practice under the one brand of Clyde & Co.
Michael Payton will be the senior partner of the combined firm with Simon Konsta, senior partner of BLG and two other BLG partners taking roles on the Board, one of which will be David Jabbari, the CEO of BLG who will become Chief Operating Officer of the combined firm. Peter Hasson will be the CEO of the merged firm.
David Jabbari, CEO of BLG, said: "The merged firm will represent one of the very top dispute resolution practices, while the combination of the two leading insurance law firms will provide the market with a breadth and quality of offering that will be difficult to match. Given the shared focus of the two firms we have a huge amount of common ground and similar cultures with which to work. This will enable us to maintain our focus on our clients while we bring the operations of the two firms together."
* associated offices