Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is set to forge ahead on its merger with Venture Law Group following the collapse of talks with West Coast rival Cooley Godward. The decision to end talks was made after a meeting with Orrick's executive committee last Wednesday (23 July). The negotiations began at the beginning of the year. The emergence of a possible merger between Orrick and Cooley had called into question the future of a link-up with Venture Law Group. Orrick already has an alliance arrangement with niche West Coast firm Venture Law Group, but this year the two firms decided to cement their relationship. Now that Cooley is no longer in the running, sources say it is more likely to merge with Venture Law Group, with September pegged as the date for both firms to make a decision. An added impetus is the fact that a number of other firms are known to have made approaches to Venture Law Group, including Morrison & Foerster. Doubt has been surrounding the progress of the talks between Orrick and Cooley, with sources saying that there were a number of groups, particularly within Cooley's corporate department, that were against the merger.