Norfolk chartered accountants Banham Graham and Lovewell Blake are to merge in the autumn, creating an enlarged firm with flagship offices on Broadland Business Park, Norwich.
The merger, which will give Lovewell Blake a combined strength of 26 partners and 220 staff, is aimed at reinforcing its position as one of the leading professional firms in East Anglia.
All five partners and 34 staff of Banham Graham will be joining Lovewell Blake. The current Banham Graham Gorleston team will continue to operate for the time being at their present location, working alongside Lovewell Blake’s team at the North Quay, Great Yarmouth office.
Lovewell Blake will take possession of the new premises at Bankside 300 on September 1 and, once fitting out is complete, plan to move in during November. Its 101 partners and staff at Norwich will then be joined by their new colleagues from Banham Graham.
“There is a great deal of respect between our firms and I believe this is an excellent move for both,” says Douglas Young, managing partner of Lovewell Blake.
“Banham Graham has historical links with our firm in that two of their partners, James Banham and Roy Jarrold, started their careers with us. In a way they are returning to the fold and we’re delighted that they have chosen to join us.
“Equally, I believe the two firms have a similar ethos in supporting and creating value for clients. Banham Graham brings strengths in business advisory services, and particularly support for small businesses, owner-managed firms and start-ups, which will complement our specialist teams that provide much valued expertise across a large number of sectors of the region’s economy.”
Murray Graham, managing partner of Banham Graham, added: “There is a great deal of overlap between the values of Banham Graham and Lovewell Blake. Bringing the two firms together will combine complementary skills, and will give all clients access to larger service teams and specialist expertise. The move will also free partners and senior colleagues to devote more time to working directly with clients.”
Banham Graham was founded in 1986 and has its main premises at Windsor Terrace in Thorpe Road, Norwich, with a regional office at Englands Lane, Gorleston.
The choice of Bankside 300 for the new Lovewell Blake premises was taken after evaluating city centre, near-city centre and business park properties. Bankside 300 is a three-floor, 30,000 sq ft building overlooking the lake on one of Norwich’s faster growing business parks, with Lovewell Blake leasing the ground and first floors that cover some two thirds of the area.
• Photograph shows: Douglas Young (front left) and Murray Graham signing the agreement with behind from left Philip Bartram and Neil Orford of Lovewell Blake and Roy Jarrold and James Banham of Banham Graham