Earlier this month, we mentioned the possibility of a merger between Mayer Brown and the U.K.-headquartered firm of Simmons & Simmons. Today we learn that the merger won’t be happening. Legal Week reports:
Simmons & Simmons and Mayer Brown have called off merger talks, the two firms have confirmed in a joint press statement sent today (29 June). The statement confirmed that the two firms have held preliminary talks about a potential merger but have jointly decided not to go through with a combination.
So what are the reasons behind termination of the talks?
It sounds like an amicable break-up. Here’s the statement released by the firms:
Simmons & Simmons and Mayer Brown have held preliminary discussions with regard to the potential for a merger. Mergers are complex and present a number of issues which need to be resolved before discussions can proceed. We have concluded that a combination between our firms is not the right option. There is, however, considerable goodwill and continuing respect on both sides.
Aww…. So they’ll still be friends.
As for the real backstory, Legal Week suggests that the firms didn’t fit together well in terms of their London presences. (Recall Mayer’s prior merger, in 2002, with London-based Rowe & Maw.)
In addition, according to Legal Week, “Simmons partners had also questioned if they wanted to merge with a larger and more profitable firm.” Because they’d rather merge with a smaller and less profitable one?
In all seriousness, perhaps yes. When a smaller firm gets gobbled up by a larger and more profitable shop, there can be negative consequences for the partners of the smaller firm, including marginalization from management decisions and pressure to make more money.
In the case of Mayer and Simmons, for example, how would Mayer feel about Simmons keeping its art collection? That’s not exactly contributing to profits per partner.
If you’re aware of other merger talk, drop us a line: email@example.com.
Breaking: Mayer Brown and Simmons call off merger discussions [Legal Week]
Mayer Brown, Simmons Nix Merger Plans [Am Law Daily]