Former partners of Thacher Proffitt & Wood have formed a pressure group to campaign for more transparency during the US firm’s merger talks with King & Spalding.
The group formed after the two firms were rumoured to be exploring a possible merger. Former partners with a significant financial interest in the firm are concerned about retrieving profits owed to them.
A member of the group said: “We wanted to make sure we were fully informed about the talks and their implications. Some of us are owed money and we’d hoped to get that back. It’s looking more unlikely now.”
Thacher Proffitt has suffered a high number of partner defections in recent months. Earlier this year (28 October) The Lawyer reported on the firm’s entire White Plains, New York office moving to Greenberg Traurig.
Merger talks with King & Spalding are understood to have begun four months ago. Thacher Proffitt is thought to be under threat of dissolution if a merger with King & Spalding does not go ahead.
Thacher Proffitt is also understood to be seeking agreement from former partners so it can eliminate liability for money owed to partners no longer at the firm.
A former partner said: “It’s very sad but whether the firm dissolves or does get absorbed by King & Spalding there will be a lot of lawyers looking for new jobs very soon.”
A spokesman for King & Spalding said: “King & Spalding regularly explores opportunities as a matter of policy. We don’t comment on rumours in the market.”
Thacher Proffitt was unavailable to comment.