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US/UK: Allen & Overy said to be in merger talks with US law firm

 |  April 8, 2018

British ’magic circle’ law firm Allen & Overy is in merger talks with US firm O’Melveny & Myers, which would create a business with combined revenue of £2 billion (US$2.82 billion) and total lawyer count of around 3,000, Above The Law reported on Friday, April 6.

Above the Law said details had been restricted to a small number of senior figures on each side. It added that Allen & Overy partners were told in January the firm was in discussions with several US entities about a potential deal. Allen & Overy acknowledged that it was “open to considering a merger with the right partner in the US”, but added, “We talk to many law firms in many countries all of the time and we do not comment on market speculation and rumours regarding any particular firm.”

A spokesman for O’Melveny, which is based in Los Angeles and is ranked in the top 50 US firms, said, “We have no plans to merge and never have.” Neither side denied having held discussions.

A partner at a rival UK firm said the merger had been rumored for some time. “It was inevitable that [a magic circle firm] would start the ball rolling, the big question is whether this will have a mini domino effect.”

Top UK law firms have long been trying to crack the much bigger US legal market. Clifford Chance, another member of the magic circle, merged with New York firm Rogers & Wells in 2000. That combination, however, is not regarded to have been a success and led to a number of Rogers partners quitting.

Full Content: Above The Law

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