Law firms George Davies and Mills & Reeve mull merger

MANCHESTER law firm George Davies is in “early stage” merger talks with larger national firm Mills & Reeve.

The debt-free £7.3m turnover practice is based in the same building, 1 New York Street, as its much-larger suitor’s small Manchester office.

George Davies managing partner Mark Hovell told “We are a successful, mid-tier Manchester firm and we have been thinking about the future in a changing and consolidating legal market.

“Mills & Reeves is an interesting opportunity for us. The process is at a very early stage though and we may decide to pursue other options.”

Headquartered in Cambridge Mills & Reeves has 95 partners and turnover in the financial year 2011-12 was £69.4m and average profit per equity partner was £69.4m.

Like George Davies it has no bank debt, making a tie-up more comfortable for partners of both firms.

The talks between the parties are ongoing and no timescale has been agreed for a partners’ vote on a deal.