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BLG reaffirms commitment to public sector ahead of Clyde & Co merger

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Barlow Lyde & Gilbert has reaffirmed its commitment to handling local government and public authority work ahead of its merger with Clyde & Co.

The two firms are to merge on 1 November 2011 in a deal that will create a combined practice with 270 partners, more than 1,250 fee-earners and 2,250 staff across 27 offices. However, it has been reported that a number of BLG partners are set to leave as part of the deal.

A spokeswoman for Barlow Lyde & Gilbert said: “The rationale for the merger has been to bring together the broadest range of market leading practitioners in the insurance and related liability areas. The Casualty and Healthcare practice, which handles the majority of our local government/public authority work, has been and remains one of BLG's market leading practices, and will form one of the key departments of the combined firm.”

The combined firm will be known as Clyde & Co and have a turnover in excess of £300m. Management said opportunities would be explored to retain elements of the BLG brand “recognising its heritage and leading status in areas such as professional liability and catastrophic injury”.

The two firms have already allocated a number of roles post merger. Michael Payton, senior partner of Clyde & Co, will be senior partner, while his BLG counterpart Simon Konsta will take a role on the board. David Jabbari, CEO of BLG, will become chief operating officer and – together with a third, as yet unnamed partner from the firm – also have a seat on the board.

Peter Hasson, chief executive officer of Clyde & Co, will be chief executive of the merged firm. He said: "Given the positive reactions from both our partnerships and the market, we are now in a position to move forward vigorously. We have immense respect for the partners, lawyers and staff at BLG, whose practices complement rather than duplicate those of Clyde & Co.”

BLG’s Jabbari said: "The merged firm will represent one of the very top dispute resolution practices, while the combination of the two leading insurance law firms will provide the market with a breadth and quality of offering that will be difficult to match.”