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Allen & Overy and O’Melveny & Myers chiefs meet at Frankfurt hotel as mega-merger talks continue

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Two months after representatives from both firms met in London

Image credit: Sofitel Frankfurt Opera

Senior lawyers from Allen & Overy (A&O) and US outfit O’Melveny & Myers met at a plush five-star hotel in Frankfurt yesterday as discussions over a possible transatlantic merger between the duo gather momentum. If given the go-ahead, the tie-up would create a new global law firm with over 3,000 lawyers and combined revenues north of £2 billion.

It has now been reported that Bradley J. Butwin, O’Melveny’s chairman, was part of a group of lawyers from the Los Angeles-headquartered outfit that flew into Germany this week to hold further talks with A&O representatives. According to Legal Week (£), yesterday’s meeting took place at the plush five-star Sofitel Frankfurt Opera hotel.

News of the meet-up comes just two months after it was reported that O’Melveny partners had jetted into London to hold talks with A&O’s top brass. Speaking at the time, a spokesperson from A&O told Legal Cheek:

“We have been clear that developing our presence in the US is a priority for us and that we have spoken to a number of law firms there. However, we do not have any developments to announce and would reiterate that we won’t comment on any particular firm until the right time.”

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The latest report claims there has been an “increasing amount of contact between both firms in recent weeks”, however “a date to vote on a potential deal has not been set”. Speaking anonymously, one A&O partner in Germany reportedly told the website:

“I couldn’t give you a sense if people are against it or in favour — it’s not really tangible for us yet.”

The Frankfurt meeting comes on the back of a strong set of financials for A&O. Profit per equity partner (PEP) at the magic circle player jumped by 4% to £1.64 million, while revenues rose steadily to £1.57 billion. Net income hit £690 million, an uplift of 3%.

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