Why did the merger between Dewey Ballantine and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe die on the vine?
Traditional theory: Dewey’s loss of key partners, such as M&A stars Michael Aiello and Jack Bodner, made it a much less attractive merger partner. Why buy a cow after the milk has dried up? See here.
Revisionist theory: It was that godawful nickname, “Dewy Orifice” — a clear sign that the gods did not look favorably upon this union. See here.
We got our hands on the email that went around at Dewey Ballantine this afternoon, announcing the death of this combination. You can check it out after the jump.
DEWEY BALLANTINE LLP
Sent: 01/04/2007 02:15 PM
Subject: Merger Update
Please be advised that the Firm has decided to end its merger discussions with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. A joint statement was issued to the press as follows:
“Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Dewey Ballantine LLP have jointly decided to end merger discussions. Both firms are successful, global firms that saw great potential in a combination. However, a combination of this size and scope posed significant challenges. While both firms tried their best to work through these challenges, we were unable to bring the merger to completion. No one issue led us to this point, and each firm leaves this process with great respect for the leaders and partners of the other.”
Since our founding in 1909, Dewey Ballantine has always been, and will remain, a leading global law firm. Although a merger under favorable terms would have provided incremental benefits in the future, the Firm is well-positioned to continue to grow and provide excellent services to our clients. The Firm just had its most successful year ever — with PPP reaching $1.4 million, exceeding budget by 10%. This is due, no doubt, to our work for the most important clients in groundbreaking deals and litigations all throughout the world. With your continued help and support, we fully expect to continue this forward momentum in the months and years to come
This is the first time in our nearly 100-year history that we have contemplated a merger. Although we never rule out strategic opportunities, we are not actively seeking a new merger partner at this time. Any merger opportunity that we might consider going forward would need to provide clear benefits and further our strategic goal to remain one of the truly elite, global law firms.
At this time, we must focus on building our practice further in order to position ourselves to be of optimal service to our clients in the future. We must also rebuild in certain practice areas and administrative departments in light of recent departures. We can, and will succeed in doing so, with your assistance.
As we recognize that many of you will have questions, information sessions will be organized within the upcoming days and details of those sessions will be forthcoming. In the interim, please be reminded that press interest in this development is likely to be high. Please refrain from speaking to the press on this matter and direct any inquiries to Jay Dinwoodie at xxxx.
As always, please feel free to contact any member of the Executive Committee with questions or concerns.
Earlier: Prior coverage of the Dewey-Orrick merger (scroll down)