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THE DOOR is not yet closed on the Alsop Wilkinson-Turner Kenneth Brown merger proposal. But there are no further talks planned between the two firms to discuss the matter.
Alsop managing partner Roger Lane-Smith says: "If TKB came back to us with a new proposal, we would look at it."
However, TKB marketing partner Rhidian Jones says: "We are not looking for a merger. We have just had the highest August billing for many years. We learnt a lot from our talks with Alsop Wilkinson. We would not rule out any proposal, but we are not looking to reactivate the process."
The merger proposal was so close to fruition that a press conference had been called to announce it. But the deal was called off 24 hours before it was due to be unveiled to the profession.
TKB restructured during and after the merger talks after advice from Alsops on what aspects of its business would not be required in a merged firm.
Lane-Smith says: "The merger was very close to completion. The whole thing just went on too long. Each time we looked close to reaching agreement, something else would come up and there would be another delay. In the end we just drew a halt to the proceedings.
"But there was nothing personal, and no one stumbling block to the deal."
Lane-Smith adds: "We are talking to people. We are still in expansion mode."
The firm aims to expand in several departments to compensate for declining insolvency work.