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Thomas Simon grows by buying law firm.

South wales legal practice Thomas Simon Solicitors has completed the acquisition of one of Cardiff's longest- established law firms. O'Brien Lewis & James, which was established in 1978 and has offices in the Rhiwbina area of the city and Park Grove in the city centre, has merged into Cardiff- based Thomas Simon.

Staff at the Park Grove office have transferred to Thomas Simon's headquarters in Newport Road while the Rhiwbina office will be expanded while continuing to trade under the name of O'Brien Lewis & James.

Thomas Simon was created earlier this year by partners Rupert Thomas and Paul Simon, following the de-merger of Thomas Graham Solicitors, Cardiff.

Other partners in the new practice are property lawyer Mark McDonald and Susan Hilton, the head of the firm's family law team.

Mr Thomas is a property and commercial lawyer and in recent years has handled some of the region's largest corporate deals, including the share sales of Empress Car Sales and Independent Community Living, each with a value of more than pounds 20m, and last year's asset sale of Shamrock Travel Group for more than pounds 10m.

Mr Simon is also a commercial property lawyer and has handled a number of high-profile deals during 20 years of practising in Cardiff.

Mr Thomas said, "Bringing O'Brien Lewis & James into the practice so soon after the creation of our new firm underlines our determination to grow the firm significantly during the next few years.

"[O'Brien Lewis & James] has tended to concentrate on property, wills and probate work and we see it as an ideal fit for our expanding firm."

Mr Simon added, "Looking forward to the future of the legal sector in South Wales, there remains a clear gap in the market for the provision of high-quality legal services from medium- sized firms such as ours that do not carry large, nationally generated overheads."

O'Brien Lewis & James was formed in Cardiff in 1978 by the merger of Howard O'Brien & James (founded in 1972) and the long-established firm of Joseph Lewis.

Partners Howard O'Brien, twin brother Philip, Simon James and Kerima Cooper have all joined Thomas Simon in a mix of consultancy and full-time roles.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 25, 2007
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