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Withers and Speechly Bircham call off merger

‘A merger would not be in the best interests of both firms’ 

23 May 2013

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Top-100 UK law firms Withers and Speechly Bircham have called off merger discussions.

The merger would have created a top-25 UK law firm with combined revenues of £170m and an international presence.

A spokesperson for both firms said:  “Following detailed discussions between the management and partnerships of Withers and Speechly Bircham, both sides have now concluded that a merger would not be in the best interests of both firms and have agreed not to pursue this further. The talks have enhanced the respect that both firms have for each other.”

Withers reported revenues of £113.3m in 2011/12, while Speechly Bircham recorded revenues of £57.6m in the same period.

Founded in London in 1896, Withers has ten offices spread across Europe, the US, Caribbean and Asia.

Speechly Bircham was formed as a result of a 1974 merger between Speechly, Mumford & Soames and the City office of Bircham & Co; it subsequently merged with Campbell Hooper Solicitors in June 2009. The firm has offices in London, Luxembourg and Zurich.

The two firms first confirmed that they were in merger talks in March. “Both Withers and Speechly Bircham have been growing their international offering in response to changes in the global legal market and the increasing importance of private capital in the world economy,” they said at the time. “There is still a lot more work to be done before any final decision can be reached and so we will not be issuing any further comment at this stage.”


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