Richards Butler has vowed to continue its hunt for a US mate, having once again failed to secure a merger after year-long talks with Proskauer Rose collapsed.
An initially sceptical Hong Kong office has finally bought into London’s strategy, despite the latest setback to the firm’s international merger plans.
Richards Butler’s powerful Hong Kong office brought down the firm’s three-way merger attempt with Denton Hall and Theodore Goddard in 1998-99, when Denton Hall refused to abandon its own Hong Kong office.
The Hong Kong partners are the only ones at the top of Richards Butler’s equity structure, taking home £1m each, and therefore they form a crucial part of any negotiations.
It is understood that Pros-kauer and Richards Butler could not make the numbers work. Turnover at Richards Butler was £89m last year, up 2.3 per cent from the previous year’s £87m. Average profit per equity partner rose 10.8 per cent, from £415,000 to £460,000, after a de-equitisation programme aimed at lifting profits nearer Pros-kauer’s $1.1m (£600,000).
The firm’s management, headed by managing partner Roger Parker, will plough on with the search for a US merger, but attention has also turned again to a UK merger in order to beef up the transactional side of the business.
Richards Butler was unavailable for comment.