Halliwells-Manches romance hits impasse

Management at the two firms held a number of ­discussions about a possible tie-up earlier in the year, but Manches pulled away from a full merger. Insiders at the firm said it had instead looked to take over ­Halliwells’ London office, which was deemed to be its most profitable part.

It is understood the move was rejected by Halliwells, which would prefer a tie-up with the entire firm.

Manches’ family practice was particularly opposed to the move because of ­concerns about the strength of Halliwells’ family work.

Manches is home to heavyweight partner Helen Ward, who in January snared Formula 1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone as a client (The Lawyer, 21 January). Originally Ecclestone had instructed Withers partner Mark Harper.