M+K Lawyers have consolidated their recent expansion into the Sydney market, completing a merger with North Sydney firm Musgrove Peach.
Following eight months of negotiations, the Sydney practice, consisting of founder Greg Peach and 14 staff members, will operate under the name M+K Musgrave Peach.
M+K CEO Damian Paul believes the merger will further cement the position of M+K as a leading provider of legal services to mid-market businesses.
“The [Musgrove Peach] practice is a specialised commercial practice, and it satisfied our criteria in terms of someone we believe we can work closely with, and who is very compatible with our values,” Paul said.
The move bolsters M+K’s Sydney presence, adding two principals, another nine lawyers and support staff. Paul told Lawyers Weekly that the firm is currently in merger negotiations with several other firms across the nation.
“With this practice coming on board, along with the earlier practice [Peter Kemp Solicitors] in January, it really gives us a nice starting foundation to continue the growth of our Sydney operations,” he said.
Musgrove Peach founder Greg Peach said that any further acquisitions will be carried out in full consultation with the new principals.
“The acquisitions are on a consultative basis, and it can only work if everyone is comfortable with the selection of the other firm or firms,” Peach said.
M+K is an incorporated legal practice, and its new acquisitions are part of and owned by the holding company M+K Lawyers Holdings. The principals in the company hold shares in the holding company and benefit from remuneration and performance bonuses at the individual practice level.
Peach said it was vital that the final deal agreement guaranteed the autonomy of his Sydney practice,
“It was important to ensure that a high degree of [managerial] autonomy would be retained and our people didn’t feel that there was any significant change to the culture and operations…as a result of the merger.”
Peach anticipates some growth in staff numbers as a result of the merger and the practice will benefit from access to the ancillary resources of M+K Lawyers: “There are resources available that haven’t previously been available to us, in terms of human resources, marketing, even librarian support. We’ve only been active as a merged entity within the group for a week and a bit, but already cross referrals between Melbourne and Sydney are occurring.”
Paul is a strong believer in his firm’s “no dickheads” policy, and this seems to have been the deciding factor in Peach’s decision to join forces with M+K.
“The clincher for me was when I went down to Melbourne and met the people at both [the Dandenong and Melbourne] offices of M+K, and they seemed to be very much aligned to our way of thinking, just normal, genuine hard working operators, who were not prima donnas in any way and were wholly professional,” Peach said.