Kidsons Impey is set to lose three partners only weeks before the firm is due to conclude merger talks with mid-tier rival Moores Rowland.
The firm denied the partners quit over the merger plans, which were revealed in Accountancy Age in June.
Kidsons offices in Edinburgh, Bristol and Derby will be affected by the defections. Mike Hall is due to leave the firm’s Bristol office to join Clark Whitehill’s Chelmsford office in a fortnight. David Kipling and Marcel Butterfield are quitting the Edinburgh and Derby offices respectively, to set up their own businesses.
Sources close to the firm said the merger had been delayed while senior partners continued to wrangle over the partner pay and the partnership deeds of the new firm. They also said a large minority of Moores Rowland partners had voiced their objections to the merger, which is widely seen as a takeover by Kidsons.
Kidsons’ revenues last year, at #58.7m, were almost double Moores Rowland’s.
Moores Rowland has 90 partners compared to 140 at Kidsons, and partner pay levels are #20,000 lower on average.
The firms’ networks overlap in several significant places, giving rise to fears of mass office closures to save costs.
Both firms have offices in London, Chelmsford, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Brighton.
They also cater for several metropolitan centres, such as Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, with Kidsons occupying city centre sites while Moores Rowland is resident in outlying towns and suburbs.
It is understood a recent meeting of managing partners at Moores Rowland failed to gain unanimous support for the merger after discussing these issues.
Moores Rowland partner Mark Sherfield denied the mood of the meeting was anti-merger. ‘We are constantly consulting our partners. We are a partnership and not everyone agrees all the time.’
He said the firm was pushing ahead with merger talks and was hopeful of resolving the outstanding issues by the end of the year.
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