The planned deal, “which is driven by a desire to improve client and sector offerings”, is subject to approval by both partnerships who will reach a decision over the coming weeks.
In a joint statement, the law firms said that the combination would deliver legal coverage across Britain, together with international reach.
John Joyce, the managing partner, Addleshaw Goddard, said: “A combination would deliver on both firms’ aspirations for improved client and sector offerings across the whole of Great Britain. We are culturally aligned and bringing both businesses together will enhance each firm’s bench strength, give greater flexibility and provide a more robust platform from which to establish stronger market positions across core practice areas and in the financial services and real estate sectors in particular.”
Malcolm McPherson, the senior partner, at HBJ Gateley, said: “There is a clear and compelling rationale behind this proposal. Clients are increasingly demanding true strength in depth across a range of core specialist disciplines and our exploratory talks progressed very quickly as the complementary nature of our teams and geographical presence became apparent.
“A strong cultural fit is at the heart of all successful legal deals and both firms share a pragmatic, commercial approach to client service. Given the partner voting process, we’re taking nothing for granted but are quietly excited about the potential for creating something rather special, given our strongly aligned sector focus and specific critical mass in financial services and real estate.”
It is intended that the business, people and partners of HBJ Gateley will transfer to Addleshaw Goddard if the deal is approved by both partnerships.
The combined firm would have 11 offices, and more than 1,100 lawyers in total, and a combined fee income of around £224m. The combined law firm would rank 15th in the UK by income.
HBJ Gateley is a Scottish law firm with offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, while Addleshaw Goddard has offices in London, Leeds, Manchester, Dubai, Doha, Muscat, Hong Kong and Singapore.