South: Pitmans acquires Lamport Bassitt creating a major legal force

Pitmans LLP will acquire leading Southampton-based law firm Lamport Bassitt with effect from June 13, in a deal led by Spectrum Corporate Finance. The acquisition sees two strong regional firms combining to become a dominant legal practice in the South of England, with a combined turnover in excess of £25 million.

Both firms have long established heritages, a statement said, and are highly regarded, given the calibre of their legal teams and the success of their clients. Their strong leadership and resilience have resulted in growth during (and despite) the economic downturn. Their consolidation creates an exceptional springboard for future growth.

Christopher Avery, managing partner of Pitmans, confirmed: “Our vision is for continued expansion through organic growth and the acquisition of highly skilled teams and partners. This transaction is a fantastic way not only to expand our geographical reach, but also to bring on board a well-established practice with similar values and ambitions. The acquisition allows us to further strengthen our already comprehensive and highly regarded client offering, so we can continue to support our clients to achieve their objectives with our personal and pragmatic approach.”

Lamport Bassitt’s corporate services will feed into Pitmans’ established departments. Its team is well respected across a number of disciplines, including Corporate and Commercial, Licensing, Dispute Resolution, Insolvency & Restructuring, Commercial Property and Family services. It is also highly regarded in the Claimant Personal Injury market, with specific expertise in relation to Industrial Disease claims.

Lamport Bassitt’s senior partner and corporate specialist, Sean Kelly, stated: “We are very excited about this move and we believe that this collaboration will further enhance the quality and variety of legal expertise we offer our clients. Pitmans’ culture is well matched to ours and we feel our firm will seamlessly blend into theirs, further enhancing our ability to provide practical, bespoke solutions in a timely manner.”

Simon Davies, managing director of Spectrum Corporate Finance, who led the deal, added: “We are delighted to have worked for Lamport Bassitt in teaming them up with Pitmans. We had significant interest in the firm and there were a number of suitors for them, but following the introduction to Pitmans all parties saw the immediate fit of the firms from both a cultural and business perspective. Both firms are strong players in their individual markets, and this combination results in a major force in the South. This is a combination of two financially strong businesses that can move forward from a position of strength to future growth and opportunities. We are delighted with this outcome.”

The announcement follows hot on the heels of Pitmans being nominated as the Outstanding Performer in the Law Firm category of the Thames Valley Deals Awards. The firm has achieved another strong year of growth, increasing turnover by 8%.

Lamport Bassitt’s Corporate team is also shortlisted in the upcoming Solent Deals Awards in three separate categories. The firm is shortlisted in the Law Firm of the Year category; Sean Kelly is shortlisted for Lawyer of the Year; and one of the deals the team advised on is shortlisted for Deal of the Year.

All departments (with the exception of Personal Injury) will practice under the name Pitmans LLP. The personal injury departments of Lamport Bassitt and Armstrong James LLP will combine and practice under the name Lamport Bassitt.

The combined practice will form a 47 partner firm, based in offices in Reading, London and Southampton.

The two firms

Pitmans is a leading dealmaker in the corporate legal sector, with offices in Reading and London. The firm boasts leaders in a number of disciplines and are Tier 1 ranked in a wide variety of practice areas by Legal 500 and Chambers, benchmarking schemes to the legal sector. With specialist sector teams in technology, automotive, leisure & hospitality, sport, media and entertainment, the firm serves clients regionally, nationally and internationally with the support of MI InterAct; formed by Pitmans over 15 years ago.

Lamport Bassitt is one of the UK’s longest established legal firms, with offices in Southampton and Reading. Founded more than 135 years ago, the firm focuses on corporate and commercial, commercial property, employment, commercial dispute resolution, insolvency & restructuring and claimant personal injury. Each of these practice areas has at least one partner ranked in the corresponding sections of either the Legal 500 or Chambers, with Claimant Personal injury ranked at Tier 1. The firm is a previous winner of Deal of the Year (over £25m category) and has been short-listed for further corporate awards on a number of occasions.