Brobeck faces collapse after merger bid fails

Brobeck Phleger & Harrison is set to dissolve after it’s hoped for life-saving merger with Morgan Lewis & Bockius floundered at the last hurdle.

In a dramatic development, Brobeck is expected to make a formal announcement on the firm’s demise after a combination of factors, including the continuing rate of partner departures, prevented the tie-up from going ahead.

The firm has also been weighed down by huge debts to Citibank, which it recently tried to off-set by channelling partner distributions directly to the bank, and renegotiating its lease over a massive expanse of excess office space.

Brobeck has seen its lawyer levels sink from over 900 to 518 attorneys since former chairman Tower Snow last year sparked the firm’s fatal flow of departures when he moved to Clifford Chance.