Orrick and Dewey: the merger that never was

It seems you either fall for Orrick’s generalissimo Ralph Baxter or you don’t. And after initially capitulating to his burnished charms, Dewey has backed off.

The news (see story) that Dewey and Orrick have abandoned their merger was actually inevitable. Despite the certainty with which the merger was officially announced last October, the exodus of Dewey partners in New York and the whispers of discontent emerging from both firms made the collapse of the merger a certainty.

While Baxter is an inspirational leader for Orrick’s partners, it is obvious that Dewey’s partners did not want to follow his evangelical way.

One Dewey source even goes so far as to suggest that, after both firms agreed to have five partners apiece on the committee, Orrick demanded six. When Dewey demurred, Orrick said it wanted Baxter to be co-chair and presiding partner, and – get this – to have two votes.

We sense some mischief-making. Baxter will probably shrug it off, though. After all, he’s got his next merger attempt to think about.