Leading Northern Ireland law firm L'Estrange & Brett is merging with McGrigors, one of the UK largest law firms.
The local firm's name will disappear after more than 150 years under the merger, which is due to be completed on October 1.
As part of the merger, the two firms' Belfast offices will be integrated in the L'Estrange & Brett office, creating one of Northern Ireland's largest law firms with more than 40 lawyers and a total staff of around 100. No jobs will be lost or created as a result of the deal.
Brian Henderson, senior partner at L'Estrange & Brett, said: “The merger allows us to become part of a UK-wide practice — the first move of its kind by a leading Northern Ireland firm.
“It means we will be able to offer our existing and future clients a greater range of services, including specialist services not currently available in Northern Ireland — as well as a greater geographical reach.”
McGrigors has six offices in cities across the UK and another in Port Stanley in the Falklands.
Mr Henderson said they saw the merger as an important strategic move and a big attraction for them was that McGrigors knew the Northern Ireland market and so knew the importance of continuing to service the needs of clients in the province.
“While it is tinged with a note of sadness at the passing of the L'Estrange & Brett name after over 150 years, the ethos of the firm and the professionalism on which it has built its reputation will continue. We recognise that the McGrigors brand is a national one, whereas the L'Estrange & Brett name is primarily known in Northern Ireland.”
Richard Masters, managing partner at McGrigors, added: “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.”