Weil Gotshal & Manges is in the final stages of merger negotiations with French firm Serra Leavy & Cazals
The Lawyer understands that the firms will announce details of the merger within a month. While some doubted the merger would go ahead, both firms are happy with the deal and are merely polishing the final details. The firms have a long-term 'best friends' relationship and have undoubtedly become firmer friends since working together on Vivendi Universal's disposal of its publishing business, which is expected to be the biggest M&A deal in France this year. The small French firm is extremely well respected for its M&A and securities practice and has an excellent reputation in France. The deal will, however, come as a surprise to many. Serra Leavy's website states: "Although many of our clients are very large, we are not. We have chosen to remain a small firm which concentrates on providing customised high added value services to clients who prefer a personalised service from their legal advisers." Neither firm has commented on the merger, which is being negotiated by managing partner of the German office Joseph Tortorici.