Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 12:10 UK

Top Belfast law firm in merger

Brian Henderson senior partner of L’Estrange and Brett with Richard Masters, managing partner of McGrigors
Brian Henderson senior partner of L’Estrange and Brett with Richard Masters, managing partner of McGrigors

The leading Northern Ireland law firm L'Estrange & Brett is to merge with the Edinburgh-based firm McGrigors.

The deal will not involve any job losses, but the L'Estrange & Brett name will be dropped.

The staff in McGrigors' Belfast office will move to L'Estrange & Brett's offices in Bridge Street.

Brian Henderson, senior partner at L'Estrange & Brett, said the move will allow them to offer clients a greater range of services.

He said there was "a note of sadness" at the passing of the L'Estrange & Brett name after over 150 years but recognised that the McGrigors brand is a national one, whereas the L'Estrange & Brett name is primarily known in Northern Ireland.

The merged firm will employ 100 people in Belfast, including 40 lawyers.

L'Estrange & Brett's partnership arrangement with the Dublin firm McCann Fitzgerald will be reviewed in light of the merger.

Corporate

L'Estrange & Brett is one of the largest law firms in Northern Ireland with strengths in corporate, banking and property.

It has been involved in some of the biggest deals in Northern Ireland in recent years.

It advised the Spanish-based Ferrovial group on its sale of Belfast City Airport and acted for bookmakers Ladbrokes when it bought the Eastwood chain.

McGrigors employs 700 people in its offices in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Aberdeen and Manchester and counts many FTSE100 companies among its clients.

Richard Masters, managing partner at McGrigors, said: "We have had a long-standing commitment to the Northern Ireland market, having opened our own office in Belfast in 2000.

"We wanted to strengthen our market position and gain critical mass and this deal achieves that in one stroke."

Any financial aspects of the deal have not been disclosed.



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