Henderson Boyd Jackson has, today (Weds 12 Oct), announced a merger with Midlands solicitors, Gateley Wareing, making it the first ever cross-border legal merger in Scottish history when it comes into effect on 1st January 2006. The merged firm, known as HBJ Gateley Wareing, will have 57 partners and over 200 fee earners with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham. The firm will immediately move into the top 60 UK law firms with an anticipated fee income in excess of £29m in 2006. The new firm will be led by a management board comprising three representatives from each firm including Mike Ward and Malcolm McPherson as senior partners. Malcolm McPherson, chairman of Henderson Boyd Jackson, said of the deal: “We found that Gateley Wareing shared a similar outlook and placed a tremendous value on its commitment to client service, teamwork and the professional development of its personnel. Both firms have a clear strategic vision which makes the merger compelling and exciting.” Mike Ward, senior partner of Gateley Wareing, commented: “The merger is genuinely client driven. Both firms have grown significantly in the last few years and increasingly work for large national corporations, banks and financial institutions. We have a number of mutual clients who spoke directly to each firm to encourage them to offer a broader geographic footprint and indeed, helped introduce the two practices.” The merger will allow HBJ Gateley Wareing to work with clients in both England and Scotland and underpins the new firm’s strategy for growth to provide the highest level of service to clients in their core markets in the UK. McPherson added: “We have already consulted with a number of major clients and the overwhelming response has been very positive. The merger allows us to extend our capability into a key commercial centre in England to provide a greater breadth of expertise in our core practice areas. Indeed, we have already identified considerable opportunity to refer cross border work immediately.” HBJ Gateley Wareing represents financial institutions, major corporates and mid-market companies across a broad range of industry sectors as well as private individuals. The firm’s core practice areas include banking & finance, corporate & commercial, employment, construction, litigation and dispute resolution, commercial and residential real estate and private client services.