A fine romance

…with no kisses (or bust-ups) as Salans and SNR Denton stall on getting hitched

True, merger negotiations can last a long time, but Salans and SNR Denton have been talking since late last year, with no sign of a deal or a break-up in sight.

Salans had the perfect chance to put the matter to the firm at its partner retreat in Madrid on a Saturday earlier this month, but it is understood there was nothing formal on the agenda. Neither was there a vote, but a Salans partner confirmed that the merger was discussed.

Talks appear to be rumbling on. A source close to them says they have “not stalled” but have gone “quiet”, with a breakthrough apparently still far off. Another source said partners were being left in the dark.

The circumstances are intriguing, with SNR Denton outed as a merger suitor for befuddled US firm Dewey & LeBoeuf until talks were called
off earlier this month. The reported negotiations were short-lived: SNR Denton instead decided to focus on hiring individual Dewey partners, while any hopes of a Dewey rescue merger now appear long gone.

A merger between Salans – which declined to comment – and SNR Denton would produce a firm with arms on both sides of the Atlantic, capable of turning over a total of £760m in a year. Indeed, it would become a firm similar in size to Dewey.

Three months have passed since Salans’ talks with SNR Denton went public (The Lawyer, 14 February), but it appears that even the Spanish air was not enough for global managing partner Dariusz Oleszczuk to find the inspiration to get a deal settled.