Speechly Bircham and Withers confirm merger talks

Speechly Bircham and Withers have confirmed that they are in the early stages of discussions over a merger that would create a new top-25 UK firm.

The two firms issued a brief statement this afternoon, confirming last week’s news that they were in merger talks (22 March 2013).

“Both Withers and Speechly Bircham have been growing their international offering in response to changes in the global legal market and the increasing importance of private capital in the world economy,” the firms said. “There is still a lot more work to be done before any final decision can be reached and so we will not be issuing any further comment at this stage.”

Both firms have offices in Zurich as well as London. Speechlys also opened in Luxembourg in 2011 (6 June 2011), while Withers’ international presence grew last year with the launch of a Singapore office (17 February 2012).

A successful merger would see the combination of the £113m-turnover Withers with Speechlys’ almost-£60m business. The firm would employ around 500 lawyers.

Withers’ UK LLP accounts, filed at the weekend (25 March 2013), showed the firm turned over £80m in the UK in 2011/12.