First Hogan & Hartson merged with Lovells. Then Sonnenschein merged with Denton Wilde. Now comes news that Mayer Brown is looking for a transatlantic partner — again. (Mayer previously merged with London-based Rowe & Maw.)
The Lawyer reports:
Mayer Brown and Simmons & Simmons have resumed merger talks, with both firms’ management set to brief their respective partnerships next week on the merits of a potential union.
Will this go merger go through? You know what they say: one is an accident, two is a trend, three is a problem…
The talks between Mayer Brown and Simmons & Simmons had stalled some time ago:
As revealed by The Lawyer (7 June 2010) the two firms held initial talks over the creation of a combined firm that would have gifted Mayer Brown significant presence in the UK and Simmons an extensive Asia offering, but these conversations encountered problems.
Partners at Simmons subsequently met with management to demand feedback on the merger discussions but were informed that it was firm policy not to comment.
It was after the expression of partner interest that management at both firms revisited talks in secret off-site meetings and partners have now been called to briefings scheduled for next week.
You wonder if the merger of Sonnenschein and Denton is what re-sparked partner interest?
But isn’t this how Biglaw got into kind of a mess in the first place? Relentless expansion to keep up with the competition isn’t necessarily sound business strategy.
Still, the two firms are just talking. But it certainly looks like law firm merger mania is back again.