Law firms agree merger terms

PARTNERS at two major East Anglian law firms have hailed the start of “an exciting new chapter” after agreeing plans to merge.

Ashton Graham and Kester Cunningham John (KCJ), which first announced they were in talks over a potential merger last September, will be joining forces with effect from October 1 this year.

They say that the combined firm, to be known as Ashton KCJ, will aim to build on the successful track records of the two existing partnerships which between them have offices across the region.

“Both firms have an outstanding history of client focus, with a flexible, service-oriented approach to doing business,” they said in a joint statement.

“Focusing on similar market sectors but providing complementary services, the merger will allow Ashton KCJ to further develop its client offering across a range of industry sectors whilst also ensuring resilience to the challenges of the ever-changing market place for the provision of legal services.”

KCJ currently has 26 partners and a total of 167 staff at offices in Norwich, Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds and Thetford while Ashton Graham has 20 partners and 149 staff at offices in Ipswich, Bury and Felixstowe.

Simon Smith, chief executive of KCJ, said: “Ashton KCJ will be determined to set the pace through its range and depth of expertise and sector strength.

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“The combination of our two firms ensures we will continue to deliver the highest level of service to our clients, while extending our expertise across the entire eastern region and beyond. We shall keep our focus on providing an excellent client experience across a wide range of legal services, for businesses and for individuals.”

Alan Brown, managing partner at Ashton Graham, added: “We are pleased and excited to join forces with KCJ given the two firms’ shared commitment to staff, client service excellence and support for their communities. The completion of our merger talks marks the start of an exciting new chapter.”