Rowe & Maw and Mayer Brown & Platt negotiating teams have hammered out a deal that will give the London firm a voice within the global organisation.
A source close to the negotiations said that the proposed name of the merged firm will be Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw and that a number of Rowe & Maw partners will join Mayer Brown's 13strong policy and planning committee. The UK setup will remain largely unchanged, but will come under the overall umbrella of Mayer Brown's global policy and planning committee. Mayer Brown's London managing partner Ian Coles will join the London management team, which currently consists of senior partner Stuart James and practice group heads Paul Maher, Sean Connolly, David Allen, Jeremy Clay and Neil Morrison. Under the terms of the proposals, the UK firm's partnership structure will be integrated wholesale into the US firm. This means that Rowe & Maw's 48 equity partners will join Mayer Brown's 350-strong all-equity partnership, with the non-equity partners at the UK firm, of which there are around 30, retaining their salaried or fixed-share status. One source close to the process said that there were no material client conflicts to scupper the deal. "The fit is quite remarkable, both in terms of business groups and culture. But it's by no means a done deal yet," he said. Common clients of the two firms include Bank of America, Marconi, AIG and Novartis. Partnership votes are due to take place within the next two weeks. If the merger goes ahead, it will create a top-10 global firm by revenue. Mayer Brown's turnover was $533.5m (£376.25m) last year, making it the sixth-largest US firm in terms of revenue, with average profits per partner at $725,000 (£511,299). According to The Lawyer 100, Rowe & Maw's turnover was £55.6m last year, with average profits per partner at £400,000. Both Mayer Brown and Rowe & Maw declined to comment.