Law Firm Profile
Hammonds By Rebecca Neely The merger between law firm Hammonds and US-based firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, effective January 1, 2011, will create a global top-tier legal practice. The firm will be known as Squire Sanders Hammonds at its pre-existing Hammonds locations. It will be among the top 25 global legal practices based on number of lawyers, which will be approximately 1,275 in 37 offices and 17 countries.
Squire Sanders chairman James J. Maiwurm will be global chief executive and chairman, and Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley will be managing partner for Europe. Globalization was the primary motivation for the firm’s expansion strategy; however Crossley intends to ensure the firm’s North West clients will not be neglected. In the November 9th article at insidermedia.com, he was quoted as saying: ‘’We intend to still concentrate on providing a bespoke local service to local businesses and that will continue. If you the client in Leeds, Manchester or Birmingham have a lawyer or group of lawyers doing your work that will continue. Those lawyers, they haven’t changed; they’re still the same. But what they are able to offer you is a whole new armory to assist you if you ever needed it in another part of the world. In one sense it’s business as usual, but with the additional component of what we can now offer you in terms of broader practice expertise. And practicing in a greater number of markets where you might do business. It’s about transforming our firm into a truly global law firm practice and being able to provide greater critical mass, practice expertise, industry expertise and having a greater geographic reach.’’ ‘’The motivating feature of our proposed merger is all about increased work opportunities for our existing clients and indeed our new clients. What I would like to have seen within a year is we have brought to fruition and converted many of those opportunities we have spent many, many hours talking about.’’ Hammonds LLP is a large international full service law firm. It is headquartered in Leeds and has offices in the United Kingdom in Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds, and offices across Europe and Asia including in Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Madrid, Hong Kong and Beijing. The firm has associate relationships with Rossotto, Colombatto & Partners in Italy and with Zhigachoff in Russia a, joint venture in Moscow and St Petersburg.
The United Kingdom firm was originally formed in the 19th century in Yorkshire. Its current configuration was formed by the merger of Hammond Suddards and Edge Ellison in 2000. At that point, Hammonds was 11th largest law firm in the UK. Under the stewardship of Peter Crossley, the firm has undergone significant restructuring from 2005-2009. Albert Victor Hammond qualified as a solicitor in 1887 and set up in practice on his own in Bradford in the same year. The practice expanded steadily over the years and in 1988 merged with another Bradford law firm, Last Suddards. The merged firm was called Hammond Suddards. Hammond Suddards rapidly became a force to be reckoned with in the Yorkshire legal market and began to concentrate entirely on commercial law following its move to Leeds. The Hammond Suddards name was associated with many of the high profile deals during the 1980s and 1990s, when many privately owned businesses in the region were floated on the London Stock Exchange and went on to undertake mergers and acquisitions. At this time Hammond Suddards’ partners began to look at the possibility of international expansion. In 1990, Hammond Suddards became the first law firm outside London to open a substantial office in Brussels. A year later the London office was opened and by 1993 the firm also had a presence in Manchester. The new offices expanded rapidly, creating a major capability in the City of London that established Hammond Suddards as a significant player in one of the world’s most important financial centres. The Brussels office also enjoyed dynamic growth and developed expertise that resulted in the firm often being instructed by the EC itself on major trade and competition issues. Hammond Suddards had always prided itself on its dynamic organic growth, but by the late 1990s it became clear that the market for commercial legal services would be dominated by
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Law Firm Profile
larger firms. Having its roots in the UK’s industrial heartland of the Midlands, Edge Ellison had also developed a strong London practice, acting for major corporate clients. At the turn of the new century, Hammond Suddards and Edge Ellison merged to become Hammond Suddards Edge. An increasing number of the firm’s clients were operating on a global or pan-European basis so the Hammond Suddards Edge partners began to develop a strategy aimed at catering to their growing international needs. The firm’s international strategy gathered momentum in April 2001, when Hammond Suddards Edge recruited a team of lawyers from national German firm Knauthe Paul Schmitt, setting up offices in Berlin and Munich. A month later a merger was announced with the Paris based firm Hausmann & Associes and in December of that year, an office was opened in Hong Kong under the name of Li Brandt & Co. Hammonds now practices in the UK, Belgium, Spain, Germany, France and China. In May 2008, the firm converted to a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). The LLP includes the firm’s offices in the UK, Belgium, Spain and Germany. The affiliated undertakings include Hammonds Hausmann in France, and Hammonds, a Hong Kong general partnership, each of which are separate and distinct entities. In September 2009, Rossotto e Associati became R&P Legal - Rossotto Colombatto & Partners who practice in association with Hammonds LLP. Hammonds LLP operates in four main practice areas, which are Corporate and Financial Services: Corporate mergers and acquisitions, public and private equity, banking, asset based lending, finance litigation and insolvency, Commercial and Dispute Resolution: Commercial litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution, health and safety commercial contracts, advertising and marketing services, IT and e-commerce,
Yorkshire Lawyer Awards, 2009. Hammonds Leeds was the winner of Corporate Law Firm of the Year at the Yorkshire Dealmakers Awards, 2009. Hammonds places a great deal of importance on diversity. The firm believes in encouraging and fostering Equal Opportunities and Diversity, ensuring that all job applicants, employees, partners, suppliers and clients of the Firm will receive equal treatment regardless of race, color, age, ethnic or national origins, religious beliefs, sex, trans-gender, sexual orientation, marital status, civil partnership status and disability. The firm also wants to ensure that equality and diversity is integral to all activities taking into account every stage of work. The firm’s approach is also reflected in its values, promoting a supportive environment to enable the firm’s people to achieve their full potential in line with their aspirations. These values, which are: One Firm, Outstanding Performance, Client Development, Personal Development and Respect, encourage and foster excellence, and enable the firm’s people to work together to achieve top performance. The firm’s values are intended to reflect the firm’s commitment to its clients, the firm, and each other as individuals. Giving back to the communities in which the firm operates is also a priority. Hammonds makes financial contributions to a number of charities, and staff participates in events throughout the year to raise funds for a number of charitable causes. The firm operates The Thousandth Man - Richard Burns Charitable Trust (formerly The Hammonds Charitable Trust, re-named in memory of former Senior Partner, Richard Burns). The Charitable Trust donates over £70,000 each year to a wide range of charities, including Cancer Research UK, Juvenile
sport, gambling regulation and licensing, Human Capital: employment law, pensions and immigration law, and Built Environment: real property, construction planning and environmental law.
Diabetes Research Foundation, NSPCC, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Marie Curie Cancer Care, and Help for Heroes. The Charitable Trust is funded by annual contributions by the firm’s partners.
Hammonds has consistently received numerous awards and recognition over the years. These include the prestigious CEDR Award for Professional Firm Excellence in ADR on three occasions, retaining the title for seven years. Hammonds Madrid won Real Estate Firm of the Year 2009, awarded by ACQ’s Finance “Country Law Awards”. Hammonds Leeds won Corporate & Commercial Team of the Year 2009 at the
Hammonds’ lawyers are also actively involved in pro bono work, offering their legal expertise to various individuals and organizations, including the Paddington Law Centre, providing advice to members of the public in need of urgent legal assistance. The firm is also a member of ProHelp, an organization established by Business in the Community, which offers professional support to the voluntary sector.