Bakers’ Canadian merger comes to naught

Baker & McKenzie has been looking to expand its Canadian presence, but recent merger talks have failed, leaving one Toronto firm in dire straits.

The US firm was in discussions with Goodman and Carr, an 85-lawyer firm, in February, but the talks collapsed, leading Goodman to close its doors this June. Had the merger been successful Bakers would have seen its Toronto office grow by almost 200 per cent, from 44 to 129 lawyers.

The failed merger talks and the loss of 50 lawyers over the past two years left the 42-year-old Goodman losing clients and having staff retention issues, meaning the practice was no longer sustainable.

A Bakers spokesman said the firm is always looking for opportunities to expand, but unfortunately on this occasion the merger was not to be.

One Bakers partner said it is thought that a number of Goodman lawyers will move to Bakers in June.