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

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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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