Orrick’s art of disintegration

Here’s a postscript to the Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Dewey Ballantine merger talks. Last weekend Orrick’s partners met in New York for their conference. This was supposed to be the first time that the fast-growing West Coast-originated legal leviathan had sat down with its new East Coast solid and stolid new brothers in arms from Dewey.

Sadly the meeting did not come to pass. As readers will be aware by now, the deal that would have created a billion-dollar law firm with getting on for 1,500 lawyers fell apart at the last minute.

For Orrick the failure must have been doubly galling. Let’s face it, it’s not the first time. Or the second. By our reckoning, we make it the seventh.

Here’s a reminder: 1998 – Donovan Leisure; 1999 – Bird & Bird; 2003 – Cooley Godward; 2003 – Venture Law Group; 2004 – Swidler Berlin; 2005 – Coudert Brothers (and apparently in 1997 too); 2007 – Dewey Ballantine.

Incidentally, The Lawyer was tipped off on what was to be the title of last week’s partner get-together: the art of integration.

Get the latest news and an irreverent commentary delivered to your desktop every day by subscribing to Lawyer News Daily.

Register at: www.thelawyer.com/register