Pannone merger talks with Slater & Gordon hits further delays

Plans to demerge Pannone to Slater & Gordon have hit a wall again, with the deal completion date delayed for a third time until today (27 November).

The firm appears to be struggling to reach an agreement over how the deal will be structured despite Slater & Gordon breaking its silence over the discussions earlier this month (11 November 2013).

Pannone has missed a succession of internal deadlines, the most recent being Monday (25 November), for completion of the merger. Originally the firm had intended to complete by 12 November (11 November 2013)..

The Lawyer first revealed that the firms were in talks in September (20 September 2013).

Pannone partners are understood to have voted in favour of the proposed sell-off in late September (26 September 2013), but sources close to Pannone suggest that the discussions have been fraught with tension as partners wrangle over the details (21 October 2013).

The debate centers on how Pannone will be carved up for the takeover by Slaters. 

While the consumer practiceis is expected to tie up with Slaters, the corporate group is expected to spin-off under the leadership of senior partner Steven Grant and dispute resolution head Paul Jonson. The fate of the firm’s white-label arm, Affinity and law firm network Connect2Law, remain unconfirmed.

According to Pannone’s LLP filings former Connect2Law head Charles Layfield left the partnership on Friday (22 November). Layfield has had a sole management and strategic development role at the firm since 2005, heading up the business between 2010 and 2012 before the reigns were handed to Barlow Lyde & Gilbert chief executive David Jabbari (6 December 2012).