Merger Watch

Mega-merger, mega-fees: The in-house perspective on A&O Shearman

“My first thought on the Allen & Overy-Shearman merger was ‘this is exciting!’” says one in-houser, but then came the realisation. “Oh wait, which way will the fees go?” Money is often top of the list for in-housers when trying to pick external counsel, alongside factors that include quality of expertise and geographic scale. The […]

A&O/Shearman’s legal advisers show they mean business

If you need further evidence of Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling’s very serious intentions to merge, just look at which firms are sorting out the nitty gritty. First off, they did not seek M&A advice from their own – and therefore cheaper – partners. They went external, and to no less than Simpson […]

The sceptics are out: How is the market reacting to A&O and Shearman?

It’s worth remembering that for all the gusto, Allen Overy Shearman Sterling isn’t yet a done deal. The firms’ 793 partners were told on Sunday that a tie-up had been agreed in almost every regard, except a members’ vote. Partners now need to decide whether to toe the line, or walk away. Walking away or […]

Private equity snaps up UK200 firm

The private equity firm Blixt Group has acquired another law firm as it seeks to grow in the UK. East Midlands firm Nelsons, which is ranked 140 in the UK200, is the latest firm to join the group. Under the name Lawfront, Blixt has acquired four businesses in the last 12 months, including North West […]

DAC Beachcroft in talks to sell one-third of firm

DAC Beachcroft is in talks with a private equity fund in order to sell off one-third of the firm. The talks are being held with Limerston Capital over buying its Claims Solutions Group (CSG) following a strategic review. London-based Limerston Captial has over £300m under management and targets UK businesses valued at between £20m to […]


Howard Kennedy snaps up boutique in construction push

London law firm Howard Kennedy has cemented its construction offering by merging with Richmond-based Corbett & Co, The Lawyer can reveal. The merger goes live today (13 March) and seven lawyers from Corbett & Co will join the Howard Kennedy team. Senior managing partner Edward Corbett will stay on to lead as a consultant, while […]

It’s off: Hogan Lovells and Shearman end merger talks

Merger negotiations between Hogan Lovells and Shearman & Sterling have come to an end. In a joint statement, the firms said: “As has been widely reported, our firms have been in preliminary and exploratory conversations regarding a possible combination. “After careful consideration, we have mutually agreed that a combination at this time is not in […]

It’s off: Womble Bond and BDB Pitmans abandon talks 

After several months of negotiations, the proposed tie-up between Womble Bond Dickinson and BDB Pitmans will not be going ahead. Negotiations between the pair started last October over a tie-up that would have created a £440m revenue firm. Neither firm was a stranger to a merger. Bond Dickinson – itself a combination of Dickinson Dees […]