Nicholson-Pinsents talks break down

The merger talks between Pinsents and Nicholson Gra-ham & Jones, first revealed by The Lawyer in November, have been cut dead.

In a press statement issued last Thursday (15 January), the two firms said: “Nicholson Graham & Jones and Pinsents completed their respective assessments of the prospect of a possible merger between the two firms shortly before Christmas. Both firms agreed to review their findings over the Christmas break.

The two firms have come to the joint conclusion that there is not a sufficiently strong fit between the markets in which they operate or between their practice groups for them to proceed to a combination of the two businesses.”

The statement, beyond which neither firm would comment, is a distorted reflection of the original reason behind the talks – namely that the market-driven practice groups they are both based on would create an excellent fit.

Shortly before the talks ended, David Biddle, a tax partner and a family member of London firm Biddle, which merged with Pinsents in 2001, retired alongside ex-Biddle partners Patrick Walsh, a projects partner, and property partner Peter Watson.

Pinsents London has also lost private equity star Alan Greenough to White & Case.