LIVERPOOL business and corporate law firm DWF is on the verge of a takeover of troubled rival Cobbetts.
This week, Cobbetts announced it was on the verge of calling in administrators and was seeking a buyer for the practice.
DWF held merger talks with the firm last year but no deal was forthcoming. However, it is now believed the former is in talks with a view to completing a pre-pack deal.
In a statement, DWF said: “Like many businesses, Cobbetts had built an infrastructure reflecting the buoyant economy of the mid 2000s and had put in place plans to reduce costs.
“However, poorer than expected trading in November and December last year caused the firm to review its financial position and subsequently obtain an interim statutory moratorium to enable a sale of the business and its assets
“It is believed by the members of both firms that a sale to DWF represents a solution that would secure the most favourable outcome for its creditors, members, people and clients.
“For clients this move would facilitate the continuation of service delivery and business as usual, with the same service terms they have enjoyed at Cobbetts, thereby ensuring a smooth transition for them and their business interests.”
Managing partner and chief executive of DWF, Andrew Leaitherland, added: “DWF’s plans to grow, in a strategic, targeted way have been clearly set out and this move supports that goal.
“I am confident that the merging of the two firms would bring genuine benefits to both and, importantly, the joint client base.”
The process of transferring people across to DWF will start in the next 7 days if the deal is approved, Mr Leaitherland said.