`The announcement by partners David Vernalls, Deborah Bradley, Richard Ottley and Ian Poole ends any prospects of a merger between them and insurance giant Berrymans Lace Mawer.`Ottley said: “We've been contacted by a number of firms and we're not merging with Berrymans. What we have arrived at is the preferred option from our point of view.”`Ottley also said that Cartwrights' merger with Bond Pearce was never a possibility for the insurance team. “There was too much client conflict. Bond Pearce has a very large union practice and we have a very large defendant insurance practice. It wouldn't have got off the ground even if we had wanted it to,” he said.`The team has 12 other fee-earners and is taking its entire client base to the new firm.