SJ Berwin and Mayer Brown in talks over £900m tie-up

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Readers' comments (13)

  • £715m and £179m is not a merger, its a takeover
    now only one Berwin remains

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  • Two negatives equals a positive?

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  • SJ Berwin, you don't have to put on the red light
    Those days are over
    You don't have to sell your body to the night
    SJ Berwin, you don't have to wear that dress tonight
    Walk the streets for money
    You don't care if it's wrong or if it's right

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  • Actually a great fit and a move which would help to ensure that SJ Berwin can survive and thrive in a rapidly consolidating and globalising market in which Europe will have a rapidly decreasing share of world output.

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  • Stephen Kon, you don't have to put on the red light
    Those days are over
    You don't have to sell your body to the night
    Stephen Kon, you don't have to wear that dress tonight
    Walk the streets for money
    You don't care if it's wrong or if it's right

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  • Would give them a decent IP practice though.

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  • SJ Berwin, don't stand too close to me

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  • Or perhaps this Police refrain is more apt to describe SJ's latest surreal merger odyssey?

    'We could walk forever
    Walking on the moon
    We could be together
    Walking on, walking on the moon.'

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  • This makes a lot of sense, both firms are under weight in London and they would just about get to critical mass. SJB cures MBs problems in Real Estate, Corporate and Investment Funds. MB bring the weight in the US and HK/PRC that SJB would never be able to get to organically as well as a real global finance practice. It would also be enhancing in Germany and France where MB have a stand out transactional PE practice but nothing really to offer in the Funds space and in Germany the combination would again just about get the two firms to critical mass.
    go a step further and add King & Wood Mallesons to MB's Asian practice and you get a 10 ton gorilla in the HK/PRC market.

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  • what about:
    'Merger in a bottle' - "I'm sending out an SOS.........just a castaway looking for a home"
    one two, one two - I thank you

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  • Two stones clinging onto each other in the hope that, together, they will float?

    As for “There’s paranoia that the UK arm would find out. That would lead to serious defections in the UK.”.... not sure if your secret source has noticed, but dozens of partners have been streaming out the door.

    Will be interesting to see if SJB are happy to be governed by the same MB management that blew $50mm on the Rowe & Maw merger and so much more on Asia. Great for SJB in the short term ($$$), but no so great for long term career prospects. Just ask Paul Maher.

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  • SJ Berwin partners would be foolish to vote in favour of such a merger. SJB has spent years building one of the cities finest legal practices. If such a merger with MB were to go through they'd be certain to loose vast control over their London prescence to their U.S partners. The chicago office of Mayer Brown is renowned for its tight inner circle that presides over the firms global strategy by mitigating other offices autonomy. Establishing a U.S. presence is absoltely vital for SJB in the coming years if it's to become a global legal player but not if this means the loss of autonomy over a practice the firm has so carefully built. SJB should be careful not to repeat the mistakes of Rowe and Maw.

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  • Two ugly ducklings, combining to create no swan. Will crash and burn. Picture lawyers exiting MB/SJB's offices onto the streets with crates in hand (a la Lehman) inside two years.

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