Bonding begins at Reed Smith, Richards Butler

Reed Smith, Richards Butler” />Reed Smith and Richards Butler signed their merger agreement last month and the combination is due to go live on 1 January next year. Reed Smith chairman Greg Jordan led on the deal, but it is Philadelphia-based director of strategic planning Michael Pollack who will be working on the tricky integration issues.

Pollack is relocating to London this summer. One of his first decisions will have to be on premises. We can’t see the Reed Smith lawyers wanting to move too far away from lovely Borough Market, so Pollack may have a lot of persuading to do.

In any case, there has been lots of stroking all round. Jordan told The Lawyer (26 June) that the merger will be be pulled off “without any serious re-engineering of the equity ranks at either firm or the combined firm”.

One wonders if he might live to regret that statement. Every other transatlantic merger – Clifford Chance with Rogers & Wells, Dechert with Titmuss Sainer, Mayer Brown & Platt with Rowe & Maw, Jones Day with Gouldens – has resulted in some serious streamlining. Jordan sounds like he is not wanting to frighten the horses.