Talks resume

First it was on, then it was off and now it’s back on again. Yes, Simmons & Simmons and Mayer Brown are back in talks (see story).

We can hardly keep up (see story).

After The Lawyer reported that initial talks had collapsed between both firms (see story) management went AWOL last week, meeting in a secret off-site location to revisit the idea of a combination.

Having previously refused to discuss aborted talks with partners, Simmons’ management confirmed that “preliminary discussions” have taken place, inviting partners to a briefing later this week.

At £1bn in turnover, the deal would create a business as big as Hogan Lovells with a geographical spread to match.

It’s widely recognised that both firms need to do something to meet growth expectations. But readers of TheLawyer.com were not convinced that this particular union was the answer, with some highlighting brand issues, others pointing to low morale and some critics questioning the sanity of those involved (see comments).

The partners at both firms may agree.

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It’s that time of year again: The Lawyer Awards take place tomorrow evening in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel and this year we will be Tweeting all the winners as they are announced. Follow us at TheLawyerMag and LawyerCatrin.

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Also on TheLawyercom: An interview with BA litigation head Julia Harrison; a feature on MoFo and Outer Temple’s Richard Lissack QC goes to Rada.