BLG and Clydes eye UK top 10 slot with potential merger

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  • Given that when I was at Clydes every other litigious matter seemed to have BLG on the other side, surely this merger will create a lot of conflicts?

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  • Merger or acquisition, this is like Waitrose buying Lidl. Lets just wait for the next team to walk out and then we'll know what the firms really make of this mess.

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  • Surely it's more like Aldi buying Lidl, no?

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  • Is that why the aviation team walked out?

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  • Does this mean Jabba the Cut is going to get the cut?

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  • Both firms are increasingly sub-scale. A merger would provide far greater resources for the combined entity to compete and invest, a stronger platform for overseas expansion and/or mergers, and some cost-cutting opportunities.
    From a strategic perspective a merger makes good sense.

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  • I'm no great supporter of either firm, but saying things like 'X is like Aldi' just makes you look daft. Do you have any idea what a £300m revenue law firm looks like compared to most of the world's legal market?
    Both firms are top 40 City firms - and if that isn't a sign of quality then what is? What do you want? Slaughters to merge with Wachtell? - would that be good enough for you? Get a life.

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  • Jabba is probably driving it. This will decimate the insurance competition - how can they possibly compete with this Beast?

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  • BLG have taken a lot of flack but this is bold and potentially game-changing for EC3 firms, though both sides will have to make some difficult decisions as the overlaps are substantial. How are Holmans, Kennedys and RPC going to respond to this?

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  • Agree that it's a bold move. Let's hope for BLG's sake this comes off and conflicts don't kill it, or they're dead in the water and Jabbari will walk away with just a p45. Also, do we know if the BLG partners definitely vote for this?

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  • Well at least BLG don't have to worry any more about anyone else moving to Clyde's.

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  • Bit of a big PEP disparity there. Wonder how the two partnerships are going to be combined? There could be some serious fallout from this deal.

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  • One thing's for sure a lot of BLG people particularly on the management and support side - so that could include Jabbari - will be surplus to requirements. It's a shame that BLG's management team couldn't deliver on the firm's recovery. The conflicts issue will be interesting. We will probably see the competition like Holmans and RPC cleaning up whilst Clydes (and the firm formerly known as Barlows) are more focused on internal issues.

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  • Merger? Takeover more like. BLG need a deal because they are severely weakened by departures. Clydes get to take out one of their major rivals and pick up a cracking professional liability and a reasonable casualty practice in the process. Then they can get on with the heavy pruning to bridge the PEP gap. Presumably the BLG name disappears within 3 years. Smart move by Clydes.

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  • Barlow Clyde and Gilbert?

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  • Will BLG clients be happy to accept expensive Clyde rates? I don't think so. We have been here before.

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  • If you just step back from this, you could take the view that Clydes would be merging with a failing firm which acquired the volume business of a failed firm (ie Halliwells). Whilst there may be client pressure on Clydes to meet clients' needs at the lower end of the market, this move will reduce their PEP and leave them subject to the Manchester v City/International internal tensions which have acted as a catalyst in the departure of over a dozen London Partners from BLG since the acquisition of Halliwells. It makes little sense for Clydes.

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  • PEP comparison is a red herring. Profit per lawyer (total profit available for distribution divided by the number of FTE practising certificates) is the ONLY way to compare profitability since firms started to manipulate equity.

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  • Poor Samantha has been drinking too much of the water from that river in Egypt: denial. RPC, Kennedys and Holmans all look dead in the water. The tide went out today and they weren't wearing any swimming costumes. They have been outmanoeuvred by the higher calibre of the Clydes and BLG management teams. These 'also ran' firms look strategically incoherent as they chase an ill-defined mix of insurance and non-insurance work, dabble in second tier corporate work, and are sub-scale both in the UK and internationally. They are likely to have to consolidate but who with? They are all second tier firms compared to BLG and Barlows. Perhaps Beachcrofts will bale one of them out. They'd better do something or they will sit and watch their best teams hoovered up by Barlows/Clydes which will be 5 or 6 times bigger than RPC and begin to power away from them on global penetration and PEP. This planned merger looks a lot like the move that Coward Turner and Clifford Chance made all those years ago: a game changer that left the competition stranded and clueless.

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  • Will it be called Barlow Clyde & Gilbert?

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  • The problems go beyond conflicts and PEP disparity. Yes firms like RPC and HFW should benefit from the conflicts fall out but, just as importantly, is this merger in the clients' best interest? Gone are the days when size meant everything and clients want first class service for reasonable and predictable fee levels. The smaller and more agile firms are better placed to deliver this from what I've experienced.

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  • Most will see this as last chance for Barlows. Having rescued Halliwell partners and staff they now find themselves needing a rescue package. Some clients will welcome the stability as a welcome change from BLG's recent rocky road but a fair few will review their options and look to other insurance specialists - firms that can focus on client issues rather than internal problems.

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  • whether the deal goes ahead or not, it's not looking good for the majority of BLG staff.

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  • If ever a law firm merger needed to be scrutinised by the competition authorities, this is one.

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  • Last chance BLG. Glad to have jumped ship before it completely submerged. I suppose, given the BLG crisis and their need for help - departures read like an airport lounge - Clydes will be well and truly at the helm. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people!

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  • I like Simon Konsta very much...and wonder if his heart is really in this or he's a turkey voting for the proverbial? That said BLG needs sorting and a merger with Clyde may effect just that. Interesting to see who lucks in to Senior Partner and Managing Partner roles, and how the inevitable fall out will be managed. alea jacta est!

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  • 'RPC, Kennedys and Holmans all look dead in the water
    Absolute rubbish statement when it comes to Kennedys. Massive growth 3 years in a row, a number of key lateral hires and another office and 2 associated offices this week alone.
    Kennedys will be a Top 20 firm within the next 2 years.

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