Dewey, Orrick make marriage plans

By far the biggest US merger news this month was that of Dewey Ballantine and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe (www.thelawyer.com, 12 September).

Dewey and Orrick have been in talks to create a combined firm of 1,200 lawyers and a revenue of $1bn (£526m). The firms’ respective chairmen Morton Pierce and Ralph Baxter confirm only that preliminary merger talks had taken place.

Orrick has gone through something of a growth spurt in the last year, picking up most of defunct Paris firm Rambaud Martel, as well as the China offices of Coudert Brothers. The defunct firm was able to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings this month once the transfer of its Shanghai and Beijing offices to Orrick had completed, with Orrick having successfully obtained its licences from the Chinese authorities.