Dibb Lupton Alsop reveals approach by Ernst & Young

Dibb Lupton Alsop (DLA) senior partner Roger Lane-Smith has revealed that his firm was approached by Ernst & Young and three other top five accountancy firms with the intention of merging.

However, DLA spurned the accountancy firm's advances, prompting it to continue its search for a legal partner.

Ernst & Young has made no secret of its desire to form a relationship with another law firm, with a view to a fully-fledged merger once multidisciplinary partnerships are given the go ahead.

Ernst & Young's head of legal Andrew Daws refuses to comment on individual discussions, but says: “We have spoken to various firms to see whether we could have a relationship with them.” Ex- DLA head of insurance David Simon, now at Hammond Suddards, says a merger between DLA and an accountancy firm is in keeping with its policy.

But, Lane-Smith says that he rejected them before discussions began. “We are not in any merger talks with accountancy firms. We have a standard three-year strategy and we are not interested in talks with accountancy firms.”>