The administration of Cobbetts in the last week was correctly met with sadness across the legal market – a true giant of the Northern legal scene for generations was on its last legs. Certain market conditions may have gone against Cobbetts over the past few years and we bet decision-makers wish they could turn back the clock in respect of a couple of commercial opportunities, however there was nothing even remotely untoward about their decline.
DWF have announced that they are taking on the majority of the Cobbetts business in a pre-pack arrangement. They are perfectly placed to do so having held advanced merger talks in late 2011 and early 2012. Better still, DWF have confirmed that all training contracts and future training contracts will be honoured, ending what was undoubtedly a panic-stricken week or so for a lot of young law graduates. Walker Morris also acted quickly to take on the Cobbetts banking litigation division, which was conflicted with DWF’s recent merger partner Fishburns.
There will inevitably be duplications in certain areas of the business and, as with any merger or takeover, certain jobs may be at risk. However, on the whole, this conclusion can only be viewed as a positive end to a sad couple of weeks for one of the mainstays of the legal profession. It is also proof of a growing entrepreneurship in certain firms to be able to step in to such a situation.
If you would like to discuss this blog, have been thinking about a move or would just like some general advice about options in the market, please feel free to contact Terry Cape or Chris Clarke on 0113 2385965.
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