You can hear the BlackBerrys going off all the way from London. Withers partners are currently living it up (read: working extremely hard) at their partnership retreat in Italy, but we know what they’ll all be muttering about while pretending to discuss associate engagement and the values of cross-selling.
The firm is in merger talks with Speechly Bircham, which, if successful, would create a £170m law firm with the heft of the big beasts of the City. It would be close to the top 20 in the UK by revenue, on a par with the likes of Addleshaw Goddard, and would have a fair claim to being the world’s biggest private client firm.
Perhaps it shows the increasing power of the private client business for law firms, a handy earner of late for firms who were once reliant on corporate revenues. It would likely be seen as a takeover by the bigger Withers, but nonetheless a merger would be a clever move for Speechlys by giving it access to markets as far across as the US and Singapore.
The different in size and global stretch, as well as the important of the Asian market, suggest the odds are in favour of Withers keeping its name and its suitor’s being blotted out.
Which would sadly leave the legal market rather Speech-less, we feel.
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