Clyde & Co. looks to grow even more

New Canadian player Clyde & Co. is poised to seal a merger with a major competitor in a deal that would be the largest ever between two U.K. firms, just over a week after announcing its tie-up with Montreal-based insurance boutique Nicholl Paskell-Mede LLP.

Merger talks between Clydes and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert LLP have been going on since February, according to British title Legal Week, and both firms are ready to vote on the deal by the end of this month.

“Following support from partners at our conference last month about our discussions, both parties are working hard to progress things before people break for the summer.” Clydes senior partner Michael Payton told Legal Week, which reports that the firms have a combined revenue of more than $450 million.

The 170-year-old Barlows has more than 300 lawyers at its seven offices in the U.K. and around the world, while Clydes counts more than 700 lawyers in 24 international offices.

On Sept. 1, that total will climb when the Nicholl Paskell-Mede merger goes live, and it officially adds its 40 lawyers at offices in Montreal and Toronto.

Clydes has said it plans to expand its base in Canada in the future, and partner and board member James Burns called NPM a “natural fit” with his firm.

“Canada is an extremely attractive market with a robust and diversified economy,” he said. “The Canadian insurance market is going from strength to strength and the U.K. insurance market is building up its presence in Canada.”

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