Akin-Orrick merger talks collapse

Talks between US firms Akin Gump Hauer & Feld and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe have broken down just five days after the pair announced they were discussing a possible merger.

Ralph Baxter
Ralph Baxter

Last week the firms confirmed they were in discussions over a potential tie-up, but both were reluctant to provide details (29 September 2001).

A joint statement released by the firms today said: “Akin Gump and Orrick have mutually agreed to conclude preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of a merger.  

“The firms appreciated the opportunity to have the discussions, which confirmed their mutual respect for one another.  However, the firms have determined not to proceed.”

This is the second time Orrick has seen merger talks break down this year. In May the firm decided to pull out of discussions with SJ Berwin, with Orrick chairman Ralph Baxter insisting “no one issue led to this decision”.

A union with Akin Gump would have created a firm more than 1,800 lawyers and a total revenue of around $1.5bn (£950m).