A WELL-KNOWN Chester law firm is splitting into two companies in an “amicable division”.
A second legal practice is emerging from Walker Smith Way in Nicholas Street, which will be called DTM Legal and will be based at Archway House by Chester Railway Station.
The division, which takes effect on October 1, will allow both businesses to expand in their specialist fields.
Founded more than 150 years ago, Walker Smith Way will continue to specialise in areas of the law covering personal injury, commercial property, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, criminal defence work, domestic conveyancing, employment, family, clinical negligence, agriculture and wills, tax and probate.
DTM will specialise in company/commercial, commercial litigation, construction, insolvency, employment, commercial property and agricultural law.
A total of 21 staff, including seven out of 35 partners, will form DTM Legal. This will leave 28 partners and 127 other staff at Walker Smith Way, which will continue to operate from its existing offices in Chester and Wrexham.
Under the new arrangements, each firm will provide support to the other in their specialist areas.
Gareth Humphreys, managing partner of Walker Smith Way said: “This is a positive and strategic decision agreed by all of the 35 partners.
“Walker Smith Way will be able to focus on growth in selected areas where we have the most expertise, getting the best possible results for our clients.”
Julie Morgan, DTM legal partner, said: “The division is as a result of many months of discussion and is a positive strategy to ensure that both parts of the business can continue to build on their respective successes.”
The statement added: “The partners are pleased that an amicable division will be achieved with minimal impact for those concerned, although it is with regret that two voluntary part-time admin posts and one full time admin post have been made redundant.”
Full consultation over the changes took place with the trade unions concerned.