City firm Taylor Joynson Garrett has entered into exclusive merger talks with German firm Wessing in a bid to create an Anglo-German technology specialist
Taylor Joynson, with 93 partners, and 91-partner Wessing are similar in terms of size and focus, and a successful merger would create a firm with an annual turnover of around £100m. Taylor Joynson was offered membership of European alliance the Commercial Law Affiliates (CLA) but turned it down to pursue talks elsewhere. Wessing has referral relationships with a number of UK firms, including Bird & Bird, Nabarro Nathanson, Theodore Goddard, Addle-shaw Booth & Co, Wragge & Co and Eversheds. However, it has always failed to secure a merger in the past. Despite being one of Germany's last independent firms, Wessing has suffered a number of setbacks over the last six months, including the loss of several key partners. In June, ex-chairman Wolfgang von Meibom left with M&A partner Alexander Schroder-Frerkes and energy partner Jan Byok to join Andersen Legal's German arm. Then, in October, another high-profile team, led by Alexander Loos, departed for Lovells. However, Wessing management committee spokesperson Wolfgang Rehmann said the losses did not affect the firm's prospects for merger. "We lost partners who had a certain way of doing things. They were trying to instigate a merger with Andersen Legal," he said. "The talks are going well, with a large majority of partners who consent." Taylor Joynson managing partner Gary Moss was also upbeat about the merger negotiations.