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Mid-tier merger a culture thing

Mid-tier merger a culture thing

Two Melbourne mid-tier firms have merged, learning lessons from those who have failed before them.

AS the world focuses its attention on law firm mega mergers and international onslaughts with the arrival in the country of DLA Piper and Clifford Chance in recent months, other, smaller law firm mergers have also occurred. 


Melbourne based law firms Aitken Partners and John Matthies & Co this week announced a merger.


John Matthies & Co integrated its practice with Aitken Partners on Monday 9 May.


Aitken Partners managing partner, Andrew Blogg, said there is a natural fit between the two firms and that was an important factor in pursuing the integration.  


“Having a similar culture and approach to practicing law and client relationships is always important when you are considering mergers or the integration of other firms." 


Blogg admits mergers are a risky affair, and said he paid close attention to other firms' attempts to merge, and fail in doing so. 


“We have all seen these things not work well in the past, and that means that we have been very selective in who have been, and who we are, talking to about this sort of activity.


“Our practices are very similar in terms of property, commercial, insolvency and litigation work, but Matthies & Co brings to us some extra expertise in banking and finance law.”


John Matthies, who founded his law firm more than 30 years ago, said the decision to join Aitken Partners was easy.


“We have been operating as John Matthies & Co for 36 years, and during that time we have been approached by many firms asking us to consider a merger, but until now we have not ever met the right firm," he said. 


“Aitken Partners shares our values in terms of client service and culture, which made the decision to merge fairly easy in the end. Duncan Pelham-Webb, Philip Fox, James Matthies and I are really looking forward to the next phase of our careers.”


Aitken Partners has eight partners and a staff of around 60.

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