In brief: Firms still in the merger mood

Nearly half of the 30 lawyer delegates at a conference on law firm mergers last week said their practices were involved in merger talks. Another third said they were open to merger offers and only just under a quarter said they were not interested. The 23 firms that attended “Merger Most Foul”, organised by management consultant Paddy Gormley, ranged from the likes of Coudert Brothers, Nabarro Nathanson, Sinclair Roche & Temperley, Bevan Ashford and Edge & Ellison to smaller firms like Hextall Erskine & Co and Debenham & Co. In a second poll the majority of delegates – 62 per cent – disagreed with the proposition that mergers were bad for private practitioners and their clients. Fifteen per cent agreed and 23 per cent were undecided. See analysis, page 2.