Weightmans has bought the business and assets of law firm Watson Burton LLP for an undisclosed sum as it responds to growing demand for its services in the North of England.
The firm’s first Newcastle office opens today and will incorporate the existing Watson Burton LLP business, clients and staff operating from St James’ Gate in the city centre.
The firm has plans to develop all of its sectors across the region including insurance and public sector. Watson Burton’s Leeds office also forms part of the deal.
The four lawyers based there will move to Weightmans’ Westgate Point premises. Weightmans already has 101 people in Leeds.
This new presence in Newcastle will further strengthen Weightmans’ position as a top 45 national law firm, adding to the firm’s seven existing offices in Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London and Manchester.
Watson Burton employs 64 people including nine partners. All have transferred to Weightmans as part of the deal.
Weightmans' managing partner, John Schorah said: "We are absolutely delighted to be opening an office in Newcastle. Not only can we build on the markets we share with the Watson Burton team, but we will be able to offer services to all our clients in the North East from a local base. It will add a different dimension and allow us to build strong relationships with new and existing clients.
“As well as client and sector similarities, we share similar values and a shared culture - focused on the success and development of our people and contribution to the local community. We feel Watson Burton are a great match for us and we are very excited about this new venture.”
Watson Burton Managing Partner Chris Graham said: “We are immensely proud of our history and achievements in the North East. Joining forces with Weightmans we will be better placed to compete both locally and nationally, offering a broader range of core and more specialised services. We have much in common with Weightmans and are confident of making even more of an impact in the region.”
Watson Burton, which opened its Leeds office in 2005, will operate under the Weightmans brand.