Swindon commercial law specialists in merger to create £12m turnover firm  

By Barrie Hudson - 11 June 2021


Thames Valley law firm Gardner Leader and Clark Holt, Commercial Solicitors have agreed a merger creating a £12m turnover firm.

  • Gardner Leader managing partner Derek Rodgers

    Gardner Leader managing partner Derek Rodgers

The new organisation will have offices in Swindon, Newbury, Thatcham, Maidenhead, Windsor and London. 

The combined firm, operating under the Gardner Leader brand, will see staff numbers increase to nearly 160 with the addition of the 15-strong Clark Holt team.  

Philip Humphreys and Jeff Jenkins, the shareholders in Clark Holt, will become equity partners in Gardner Leader. 

Mr Humphries said: “We were able to successfully navigate the challenges for our firm raised by the covid pandemic due to our strong and loyal client base and the commitment and teamwork of our colleagues.  

"Following an approach from Gardner Leader, however, we felt that the time was now right to take the “best-friend” relationship we have had with them for some time to the next stage.  

"We believe that this will enable us to more easily access wider markets alongside our new colleagues and provide a wider range of services to our clients.”  

Clark Holt, Commercial Solicitors was formed in 1995 in Swindon and specialises in corporate, commercial and commercial real estate.   

Gardner Leader has been in Newbury since 1895 and has seen rapid growth over the last 10 years, expanding into Maidenhead in 2014 and into London and Windsor since 2019. 

Gardner Leader managing partner Derek Rodgers said: “Clark Holt is a very well-regarded and successful niche commercial law firm.  Our two firms have had a very close relationship for many years, with Gardner Leader assisting many Clark Holt clients when they had needs outside the core Clark Holt specialisms.  

"We know that their approach, ethos and culture are a great match for our own. 

"We are excited to be adding such a high quality team to our firm to cement our position as one of the leading firms in the Thames Valley.” 

Former partners of Clark Holt, Richard Clark and Jeremy Holt, both now retired, said in a joint statement: “As the founders of Clark Holt we strongly support the merger with Gardner Leader because of the additional legal services it will provide for the commercial clients of the firm.” 

Completion of the merger is set for later in the summer. 


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