Merger she vote

There’s been no summer lull at SNR Denton and Salans. The two firms are sizing each other up ahead of a September merger vote.

The pair have been talking since the end of 2011; The Lawyer first reported news of the talks in February. If the two firms do decide to tie the knot, it would create a firm with turnover in the region of £760m, bigger than CMS, where turnover in 2011-12 was £692m, but still smaller than Norton Rose, which has turnover of around £822.3m. SNR Denton is understood to be particularly interested in Salans’ Paris and Moscow offices though there’s been no mention of the latter’s Polish outfit, which is also strong.

Of course, there’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip. The Lawyer understands that there is still a chance that talks could collapse before even getting to a vote, with negotiations said to have encountered political obstacles. Details of said obstacles are sparse. Salans partners are understood to have signed a confidentiality agreement while few on the SNR Denton side seem to know much about it – unless they were just being diplomatic in the face of journalists’ questions.

That said, one nugget that has reached The Lawyer is that the firms are mulling scrapping both brands and starting afresh with a new name.

SNR Denton, as a brand, has been troubled by the UK LLP’s struggling performance over the past few years. Salans – a French/US firm that gets most of its revenue from Eastern Europe – has never really created a clear identity. What have they got to lose?

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