15 New Bridge St-Lombard tie-up collapses

The merger between criminal set 15 New Bridge Street ;(15NBS) ;and commercial fraud specialist Lombard Chambers has dramatically collapsed.

Lombard senior clerk Ian Lee confirmed that negotiations had failed, but declined to comment further.

The two sets pursued a merger with the belief that a combined 54-barrister chambers would have had the critical mass to withstand any losses through legal aid.

One source close to both chambers told The Lawyer the sets are now heading towards litigation over whether the collapse is a demerger. “The chambers were under one roof for a blink of an eye, so there’s a question mark as to whether the merger actually ever took place at all,” said the source. “It’s this legal point that the sets are trying to clear up.”15NBS was not available for comment.