Addleshaw Goddard and Maclay Murray & Spens cease merger talks

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Merger mania: Olswang eyeing up Bird & Bird and Simmons & Simmons, meanwhile Berwin Leighton Paisner and Greenberg Traurig in talks


Northern giant Addleshaw Goddard and Scotland’s largest remaining independent firm Maclay Murray & Spens have ended talks over a possible merger.

Hitting headlines back in November 2015, the proposed Anglo-Scottish outfit would have been one of the UK’s largest training contract providers, with a combined offering of around 55.

City outfit Addleshaw Goddard — which offers around 30 training contracts annually — has offices in London, Leeds, Manchester and five further outposts overseas. In comparison, the much smaller Glasgow-headquartered Maclay Murray & Spens offers around 25 training contracts each year, across its Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London offices.

Rumours circulated late last year that a cross-border merger between the two was on the cards and would be put to a partner vote in the late spring.

Although a target date of 1 May 2016 was already being penciled into the diary, it seems agreement could not be reached. If the merger had taken place it would have created a new firm with a turnover in excess of £200 million.

Addleshaw Goddard remained tight-lipped on the matter. A spokesperson for Maclay Murray & Spens said only that they were not in discussions with any firm over a possible merger at present.

Elsewhere in the City, merger tittle-tattle would suggest media firm Olswang is looking to couple-up.

With Olswang’s chief executive Paul Stevens trumpeting merger plans at a partnership conference late last month according to The Lawyer (registration required), fellow City players Bird & Bird and Simmons & Simmons are being earmarked as potential partners.

Finally, corporate outfit Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has confirmed that it is in early talks with US firm Greenberg Traurig.

BLP, which offers 45 training contracts annually, has 12 offices in eight countries, having launched in Beijing and Dubai in the last couple of years. Miami-based Greenberg Traurig has 37 offices across the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.



I’m pretty sure both Brodies and Burness Paull are larger than Maclays now, and are both independent Scottish firms.



All this merger talk is just a bunch of hot air.

GT will soon get cold feet and won’t risk the merger with BLP – their growth strategy appears set on continuing expanding their US practice while growing organically in Europe through laterals/pinching offices. A Swiss Verein wouldn’t bring much food to the table.

MMS is a bunch of Scottish tramps that never had the minerals to pull off the AG tie-up – it would be a blessing for the ailing firm, but Addleshaws clearly didn’t like what they saw and backed off.

Olswang would be far better-off merging with a Yank outfit than S&S/2Birds, but considering the carnage which ensued after disposing of their MP last year, I can hardly see any reputable US shop getting around it.



Who’d wanna take Olswang :cryinglaughterface:



MMS has lost traction and is all over the place in the market – if AG were the one’s to back off then this will send out negative signals for others.

MMS should try to consolidate and focus on being a Scotts powerhouse and not a slut



But they told me they’re all Very Intelligent People… At least their website says so.


Just a thought

Definitely glad AG pulled out of this – if anything the firm should look to stay as is or pursue an international merger.



Me thinks this decision will cause MMS peeps to send their CV to safer shops



Me also thinks AG is not international merger material , yet


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