Addleshaws and Nabarro call off merger talks

Addleshaw Goddard and Nabarro have called off merger talks after entering early-stage negotiations over a £280m tie-up.

It is understood the discussions ended after Addleshaws decided against pursuing a deal, with talks never developing beyond a preliminary stage.

The brief talks are thought to have started by late 2012 and ended earlier this year, with the development coming shortly after corporate partner Graham Stedman replaced Simon Johnston as senior partner on 3 January (24 October 2012).

In a statement, a Nabarro spokesperson confirmed: “Nabarro and Addleshaw Goddard did hold very preliminary conversations to explore a possible merger. However, both firms agreed not to pursue discussions further. We continue to have a good relationship with Addleshaws. No further comment will be made by either firm.”

Addleshaws added in a statement: “We have always said that we would be open minded about the possibility of further mergers to accelerate our strategic progress and growth. We confirm that, consistent with that, we held preliminary discussions with Nabarro to explore the potential benefits of a merger. Those preliminary discussions have now ended and will not be progressing further.

“We continue to have a good relationship, and we wish Nabarro well. No further comment will be made by either firm.”

Addleshaws turned over £170m in 2011/12, Nabarro £113.4m, giving a combined revenue figure of £283.4m. This put would have put a merged business in the top 15 UK firms by turnover, just behind Clyde & Co, whose turned rose to £287m following its merger with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (5 July 2012).

The news follows the termination of £200m merger talks between Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) and Osborne Clarke last November (14 November 2012).

Meanwhile, FFW and Lawrence Graham called off tie-up negotiations earlier in 2012 (28 June 2012), while Bond Pearce and Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens ended talks over a £95m combination around a year ago (14 March 2012).