Cobbetts and DWF abandon merger talks in uncertain market

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  • That statement doesn't make sense. The first paragraph says "The preliminary discussions....have now come to a conclusion". The second says "...but until any discussions are brought to a conclusion, we will not be in a position to talk about them publicly.”

    Have talks concluded or not? Or are they just buying time until they get the support they need?

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  • The explanation of "uncertain market conditions" is almost as unconvincing as blaming an "overzealous" techie for buying the domain name in November.

    Whilst I have no ideal whether the merger was a good idea, taking so long to execute (compare with McGrigors/Pinsent Mason) was always asking for trouble. Cobbetts will have to pick-up the pieces as their talent is now in play.

    DWF's dash for growth (being Top 30 is not a tribute to Jimmy Saville) I think is driven by Andrew Leaitherland's appetite to float/be bought-out. Yesterday's RJW announcement shows the money is gravitating to commodity legal services which can be provided by a pliable workforce and not by high-maintenance middle-aged partners. DWF's insurance practice has plenty of the former whilst Cobbetts has a surplus of the latter.

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  • Word on the street is that DWF have massive holes in their finances which meant the merger could not move forward.

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  • Who's Shaw calling out by LBW?

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  • Conclusive proof - if it were needed - that turkeys do not vote for Christmas. Whilst I suspect there are some at dwf shaking their heads ruefully at an opportunity missed, there will be as many looking at news of Cobbetts' £10M worth of bank debt and heaving a sigh of relief. Few at Cobbetts will be saddened by this news. - I think dwf and all they stand for is complete anethema for many at Cobbetts.

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  • I have worked at Cobbetts. Cobbetts are a very worthy outfit with some very committed staff. They will move on and do ok.

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  • You can just imagine the guy in the photo asking:
    'Are you a blue or a red'?

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  • @12:43 - yes I'd heard that too.

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  • DWF's appetite for growth is a bit over done, almost "alla halliwellls", just because you can put together a mass of people to make £132m a year doesnt imply the firm is going to be improving profit margins or giving better advice.

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  • Think it is also worth pointing out that DWF approached Cobbetts. Think there has been a lot of spin by DWF that the reverse is true. Suppose if you say something enough times you believe it will happen.

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