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Pennie & Edmonds' renewed merger talks with Jones Day were spurred on by a cabal of partners who were about to jump ship for the Cleveland firm.
The Lawyer can reveal that three senior partners at intellectual property firm Pennies, led by highly-rated partner Brian Poissant, were negotiating a move to Jones Day.
According to a number of sources, Poissant was instrumental in forging last year's original merger talks, which fell through in April when Pennies pulled out at the eleventh hour.
It is understood that Pennies was in the throes of renegotiating the lease on its 120,000sq ft New York office space when it became aware of the potential Jones Day defections, prompting a restart of the talks. Dialogue between Pennies and its real estate broker Staubach has now stalled.
In the interim, Pennies had entered discussions with the West Coast's Cooley Godward, but these talks floundered due to irreconcilable accounting differences between the two.
At the time, sources said a group of five senior rainmakers were opposed to the Cooley Godward merger, but it is not clear if some of these partners are the same as those on the move to Jones Day. It is understood that Jones Day made a concrete offer to Pennies, although it is not yet clear if its entire complement of 170 lawyers will remain with the merged entity.
Jones Day and Pennies were unavailable for comment.