Ashtons Legal snaps up Norfolk-based law firm Steeles Law

Oliver Brabbins of Steeles Law and Ed O'Rourke of Ashtons Legal as a merger of the companies is agreed

Oliver Brabbins from Steeles Law and Ed O’Rourke from Ashtons Legal celebrate the merger of the two companies - Credit: Warren Page

Expanding Ipswich-based law firm Ashtons is set to acquire a Norfolk business which will take its team to 400 people.

Steeles - which is based in Diss and Norwich - will join Ashtons' existing offices  in Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Ipswich and Leeds. The deal goes through on December 1.

Under the merger deal, the majority of staff at Steeles will transfer to Ashtons' Norwich office, with the remainder staying at the Diss site, which will be rebranded.

Ashtons says the deal will further strengthen its position as one of the region's leading law firms and offer a broader range of services and specialisms for its clients.

Ashtons Legal chief executive Ed O’Rourke said: “Over the past few years we have been looking for opportunities to continue the growth of our business and the expansion of services we can offer our clients.

"That growth happens organically through the ongoing development of our staff but also through the strategic acquisition of key individuals, teams and firms that share our values.”

Previous acquisitions in the HR consultancy, French property and franchising markets had proven "very fruitful", he added.

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"The time is right for Ashtons to bring on board a highly respected, quality firm. Steeles very much share our culture and values which has been a key part for them - and us - in deciding to move forward with this transaction. We are all looking forward to working alongside Steeles’ fantastic team.”

Steeles managing partner and head of employment Oliver Brabbins said: “This is an exciting time for both firms, and we can’t wait to get started and to become a part of Ashtons’ ambitious plans for growth.

"We see this as an important step in the evolution of the exceptional quality of our teams, allowing us to integrate Steeles’ key practice areas into those at Ashtons so that we can, together, become an increasingly strong presence in the legal marketplace.”

Ashtons' Leeds office trades as Heslop & Platt.

Steeles employs staff in Norwich, Diss and central London. 

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