Mincoffs, Jacksons sneezes

Neither side will say much about the reasons for the split – although in a mutually agreed prepared statement the merged firm (in its final act as such) pointed to it having been affected by the economic downturn “in different and unforeseen ways” (see story).

These mysterious developments apparently “changed the aspirations” of each firm over the course of the past year. Read “We actually didn’t really get on very well and in fact the practice fit was a complete no no.”

Now Mincoffs will go back to being a Newcastle corporate and commercial minnow in search of a white knight and Jacksons will plough a similar furrow in the world of litigation (Jacksons incidentally has form in the area of demergers, waving bye bye in 2003 to half of its practice after it decamped for Berryman Lace Mawer).

The collapse of this deal not only looks like bad news for the two firms but highlights the stress the North-East legal market has been under recently. A succession of hard luck stories emanating from the region for firms such as Dickinson Dees, Ward Hadaway and Watson Burton suggests Newcastle and its law firms have been disproportionately affected by the downturn.

Today’s announcement does little to change that perception.

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Also on TheLawyer.com: Clifford Chance litigators fight it out; The FSA’s prosecution strategy; and a wee dram with the head of legal for the Scottish arm of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII ­Scotland).