Categories:Europe

Herbert Smith reviews future of European alliance after failed merger bid

  • Print
  • Comments (25)

Readers' comments (25)

  • Go on Gleiss! Angela Merkel would be proud!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What a mess. You only have to look around the profession to know that in order to grow you need an international base and Herbies has closed itself off to it. There is no point scratching heads and pointing the finger, what people really want to know is what is going to happen? Can Herbies compete on an international platform?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I wish peopel would just come out and say what was really going on instead of all this PR speak

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "Business as usual" - i.e. Herbies and Gleiss partners not talking to each other?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ditch them and do a US merger. Fast. The current situation is a strategic disaster.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "Ditch them"? Sounds to me like Herbies has just been ditched ...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Oh dear. Sounds like the discussions with Cuatrecasas a few years ago.
    If you were HS, who would you merge with in the US?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The sad, but unavoidable conclusion is that Gleiss and Stibbe might have done a deal if Herbert Smith was a leading firm and not a third tier firm in corporate.
    And there is also no reason for a continental firm to do any sort of merger with a London operation at the moment when the latter are only going to suffer over the next two years.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • PtL: you've hit the nail on the head and it also shows how utterly clueless HS senior management are even to have broached this at this point in the (corporate law) economic cycle.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A firm like Sheaman & Sterling would be a great fit for Herbert Smith, they would provide coverage in the US and Germany, and greater weight in corporate and banking.
    Herbert Smith at present is too litigation heavy, too London heavy, with zero platform in North America and an 'alliance' platform in continental Europe which cannot be integrated. It is also increasingly sub scale overall compared to the leading firms.
    Bold action is required to prevent this firm being rapidly consigned to mediocrity.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Au contraire, it is precisely the right time to build a Dutch and German platform, as the market will be in a state of flux for the next year and talented laterals will be easy to dislodge. The end of the alliance is a great opportunity for HS to unlock its unfulfilled potential and regain its place at top table.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @Anon 3.24, What do you mean Herbies is too litigation heavy? If it wasn't for the litigators then it would be in even more sh*t than it is at the minute!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The failure of Herbies' alliance means it is now 12 years behind the competition, and it has to be a serious question whether it can ever catch up on its own. The prior commenter's idea to merge with S&S is a good one. S&S desperately needs to regain its M&A credentials, and HS has been bleeding US securities capability. S&S is strong in Paris and Frankfurt, and the combination of the two in Asia would be compelling. Both firms have had a bad financial crisis. HS management has been too pleased with itself and not at all self-aware. If they can get over that and consummate a decent merger with a firm like S&S, maybe there is hope.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A merger in any climate is difficult and the present economic climate makes it all the more attractive in achieving survival. Perhaps the balance sheet is rather more optimistic for it to seek foreign partners? TheLawMap Associate

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This secret video clip of the negotiations between Gleiss and Herbert Smith recently leaked on to the internet. The deal fell apart when the senior partner of Gleiss learned what "Herbert" really means.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQONBf9xMss

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Given Gleiss' potential liability for its faulty advice in connection with the EnBW/Baden-Wuerttemberg deal, one might doubt that Gleiss would have been a good merger partner (or acquisition target) for HS in the mid- to long-run. On the other hand, if this liability risk materialises then one could expect a lot of Gleiss' partners jumping ship, probably to the known guys from HS and their (then newly) established German practice...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "Herbert was a minor official notorious for his rigid and limited patterns of thought." Gleiss, live long and prosper, you've had a lucky escape. The best thing would be to go through a space-time vortex back to 1995 and merge with Clifford Chance.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous: 12:32 pm. The liability claim against Gleiss is groundless. The deal failed because of Fukushima and the German government's U-turn on nuclear power.
    But it is an interesting question what will happen to Gleiss. Debates such as this always mean people look around a bit and you can imagine US firms stepping up their attempts to get the good young M&A partners. But they won't go to HS when there are a lot more lucrative offers, including those from firms with a proper strategy. HS should forget about going into Germany. Their brand is damaged; the corporate team way too weak.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I would suggest Vinson & Elkins might be a good merger bet. Strong US platform, not just in the Texas home patch, but up the East Coast. Great combined coverage in the ME and Asia. This could be the world's premier enegry firm and a true 21st century law firm leader.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Herbert Smith is never going to merge with a reputable US firm. Herbert Smith is run like a club. US firms are run like businesses.

    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 (25)