Teased Law Firm Merger Fizzles

Back in October, Womble Bond Dickinson and BDB Pitmans informed the world that they were in the midst of merger talks. The merger of UK-based firms — which would’ve been the second in a decade for Womble, the product of the transatlantic tie-up between Bond Dickinson and Womble Carlyle — would’ve created a new £440 million firm that we desperately hoped would be named WBDBDB.

From Byfield Consultancy Joint Managing Director Ben Girdlestone:

Womble Bond Dickinson and BDB Pitmans announce today that they have decided not to proceed further with their proposed merger. After extensive discussions on the combined proposition, both firms have decided that the best path forward is to remain independent of each other. Excellent relationships have been established and the firms will continue to work closely together in the future.

Maybe the real mergers are the friends you make along the way.

We’d heard that UK firms were starting to realize that they needed to do some serious merging if they wanted to remain competitive. Mergers can fall apart for a lot of reasons, but given that backdrop, it’s interesting that the firms opted against this one.

A general sign of cooling interest, or a one-off speed bump in the industry merger race? We’ll see.

earlier: Magic Circle Firms Must Pull Rabbit Out Of Hat To Stay Competitive With US Firms

head shotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

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