SJ Berwin pursues merger with Proskauer after Orrick talks break down

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  • If Orrick decided against the merger - Proskauer is not likely to find them appealing either unless the terms are decidedly in Proskauer's favour. Does the phrase shop-worn sound applicable?

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  • Have Berwins plumped for Proskauer or were they left with no choice after everyone else thought better of it? It'd be interesting to know if the talks with Orrick got beyond the "early stages" these are supposed to be at...

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  • Who is more desperate, Gordon Brown or S J Berwin?

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  • Re the above comment: I genuinely think SJB would have preferred to go with Proskauer from the off. They have very few synergies with Orrick and I cannot see how that one would have worked.
    The problem is that they seem to have been publicly rejected by Orrick which now makes any new potential partner look like a last resort, whether it is or not.
    Business-wise this makes more sense, but in terms of publicity it's yet another bit of news that makes the firm look in bad shape

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  • SJ Berwin haven't spun the Orrick story very well. It's perfectly possible that they went luke-warm on Orrick, who have hardly set the world alight recently. The Orrick 'leak' about the breakdown of talks was pretty aggressive, tbh.

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  • Why would anybody merge with them? You'd have to be bonkers. Orrick will now try to take some of the best bits (inc. parts of continental Europe) and SJ Berwin rats will start to leave the sinking ship. It will be a feeding frenzy. A bit like the Miliband vultures circling around the wounded bullock Brown.
    That's three mixed animal metaphors for you. Or maybe SJ Berwin was always a bit of a menagerie.

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  • You have to wonder how this is going down with elements of the Berwins partnership. It can't be much fun seeing your firm's name touted about to any yank that comes calling -- it's hard to imagine that any merger terms will be favorable to SJB. Trouble a-foot methinks...

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  • @ trixiebell - It is not a question of desperation.

    SJ Berwin wisely understand that for strategic reasons they need a merger in order to become a top tier firm. Organical growth alone will not get them there.

    There are many firms with their heads in the sand that fail to understand that scale and international coverage will be essential to remain top tier in the future. PEP alone will not be enough.

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  • Flipping through the last year of the Lawyer, we come across Paul Weiss Rifkin, Orrick, Cooley Godward, Proskauer and Goodwin Procter as US suitors.

    With Orrick reacting as it did last week, after it had been given a look at the headline figures, the impression, worded elsewhere on this site, of a distressed asset desperately looking for a bail-out is not far off.

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