Allen & Overy and Allen & Gledhill call time on tie-up talks

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Singapore’s Allen & Gledhill have called off tie-up talks after failing to agree terms.

The two firms announced their decision today (26 March), four months after The Lawyer first revealed that they were holding exploratory talks (3 November 2011).

A spokesperson for A&O said: “We’ve concluded our discussion with Allen & Gledhill on a proposal for an alliance or combination between the two firms. As a result both parties have agreed not to proceed.

“We’ve had an office in Singapore for almost 20 years which now has around 60 lawyers practising international as well as Singapore law. We continue to see that office and the South East Asia region as strategically significant”.

The spokesperson added that Singapore was still a key market for A&O. “The reasons that prompted the conversations between A&O and Allen & Gledhill haven’t changed and our view on the market is that it’s a place we want to grow,” he said.

Allen & Gledhill had been in an alliance with Linklaters for 10 years and was understood to have approached the firm first about working together more closely before beginning discussions with A&O.

Earlier this month, The Lawyer reported how A&O and Allen & Gledhill were leaning towards a Formal Law Alliance – the loosest kind of association possible – with both sides uneasy about the effects a closer tie-up would have on their respective firms (1 March 2012).

Confirming that his firm has “ceased” both its joint venture with Linklaters and talks with A&O, Allen & Gledhill managing partner Lucien Wong said: “Our firm will remain a leading independent Singapore law firm and we’ll maintain our long-standing relations with law firms worldwide.

“Our strategy of maintaining our market leading position in Singapore and being a leading law firm in South East Asia has not changed, and we’re confident of pursuing this strategy without being in an alliance with, or being part of, an international law firm. We’ll continue to review strategic options to enhance our position in Singapore and Asia.”