Orrick pulls out of merger talks with SJ Berwin

Orrick has put a stop to merger talks with SJ Berwin less than two weeks after it emerged as frontrunner for a tie-up with the City firm.

Orrick has put a stop to merger talks with SJ Berwin less than two weeks after it emerged as frontrunner for a tie-up with the City firm (26 April)

An internal memo from the US firm’s chairman Ralph Baxter confirmed that Orrick had been “engaged in preliminary discussions with SJ Berwin” but prospective merger was no longer on the table.

The memo continued: “Based on our discussions to date and the information now available to us, the team working on this does not recommend pursuing it further.

No one issue led us to this decision, and we leave with great respect for SJ Berwin.”

SJ Berwin recently reviewed its strategy to explore mergers with American firms. A delegation met senior figures from Orrick in New York on 13 April.

The meeting is understood to have come after two other prospective US tie-ups – Goodwin Procter and Proskauer Rose – began to go cool on a possible merger.

Over the last few years Orrick has completed mergers on the Continent, with Rambaud Martel and Hoelters & Elsing.