Cobbetts and DWF abandon merger talks in uncertain market

  • Print
  • Comments (22)

Readers' comments (22)

  • 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?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Who's Shaw calling out by LBW?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @12:43 - yes I'd heard that too.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 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.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well, on 4 November 2011 it was an over zealous IT chap. Then, by 18 January 2012, they were officially talking. Now, late January 2012, it's all off. How much are we supposed to believe market conditions have become uncertain since 18 January (or even 4 November assuming the guy in IT was leading the talks)?

    Their public pronouncements really are an insult to everybody's intelligence. Little wonder so many of the the staff seem miffed if this is typical of the quality and honesty of communication from management.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Who has the most to lose from this PR debacle? Cobbetts - B'ham. No duplication of office and more support under the DWF brand to recruit higher earning Partners. It will be an interesting time to see what happens next....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I don`t buy it that the Cobbetts Birmingham office will lose from this. All in all it is a well-performing office with distinct successes, especially in litigation and corporate.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well here's a surprise. Cobbetts dire financial performances have been all over the legal press for ages. DWF now rumoured to have massive holes in their finances as it scrambles around to buy itself bigger. A well thought out match made in heaven - no? Perhaps they could both do with remembering that "turnover is vanity, profit is sanity...". DWF seems to be randomly grappling for them and Cobbetts would probably be happy with either.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well my hunch that Dickinson Dees will end up merging with Cobbetts, still might come true.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Cobbetts are in a much better financial position than Dickinson Dees, so I doubt a merger would happen.
    Especially as Cobbetts probably know which Dickinson Dees partners have already agreed to join DWF in Newcastle and Leeds.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Dicky Dees, no. Bet it's the sticker album people though they are rumored to be in a worse shape than us.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think DWF and Cobbetts have made a good point. I'm sure that there will be a certain market soon. Then they can start chatting again.

    They must rue the day that the errant IT chap purchased the domain name.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Rumours about a hole in DWF's finances are wide of the mark. Borrowings down, PEP up, Newcastle office off to a flying start. There's one reason why this merger didnt happen and that's because they didnt fancy swallowing Cobbetts' debt.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A lot of us in competition are worried about DWF's incessantly strengthening position, but DWF having holes in finances?- You're having a laugh. Just look at their figures, and their chief finance officer (who I understand is the ex chief at CMS Cameron McKenna and Baker and McKenzie) is highly respected. Come up with theories by all means, but let's at least make them plausible.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page | 50 per page

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (22)