Allen & Overy and O’Melveny & Myers abandon merger talks

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No deal

Long-running merger talks between Allen & Overy (A&O) and US outfit O’Melveny & Myers have ended without a deal being reached, it was confirmed this afternoon.

The magic circle outfit said that while there were some “compelling synergies” between it and its Los Angeles-headquartered counterpart, it had “mutually decided not to continue these discussions”. The statement, released within the past hour, said:

“Both firms have developed a great deal of mutual respect and expect to remain in close contact in the service of our shared clients. As we move ahead, we wish each other continued success.”

Despite today’s setback, A&O stressed that building its presence in the US “remains the highest priority” through an “immediate focus on lateral individual and team hires”. The firm also said it remains “open to considering opportunities for larger combinations that may arise in the future”.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Rumours of a potential tie-up between the two giants have been swirling for almost a year now, with reports last summer claiming that O’Melveny’s top brass had flown into London to meet senior lawyers at A&O. Fast forward several months and the firms are said to have met again, this time in a plush five-star hotel in Frankfurt.

Legal Cheek also revealed earlier this year that O’Melveny had temporarily suspended its UK vacation scheme and 2021 training contract application processes while the discussions took place.

If discussions had been successful, it would have created a new transatlantic legal player with over 3,000 lawyers and combined revenues of around £2 billion ($2.8 billion).

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Mike Myers never recovered from The Guru. This collapse is such bad luck for him.


Alex, Thomas is writing several articles a day and these are not his usual “exclusives” taken from RoF. Something suspicious is going on here, maybe he is preparing a coup?


They tried to pull a BCLP. Unlucky.


Except BLP are a garbage outfit.


One of the toppest real estate firms in the City. Almost a rival to CMS’ team.

Bob the Builder

It of course being a truth universally acknowledged that a splashy US merger is critical to building an excellent…

*checks notes*

London real estate practice?


The merger opens up the US market to legacy BLP and expands Bryan Cave’s network far beyond the US. Win-win.


Bullet dodged for A&O??


How so? Whats wrong with old melvy?


Goodbye, UK law…



Sweaty SPB Arb Associate

Desperately trying to move to a proper US firm. Reckon OMM will hire me now?


Keep going my friend, you will get there eventually!


There must be a Brexit Doomsday angle on this surely.

How about:

“Speculation is rife [between Tommy and the work experience kid who’s here for the week] that the crunch meeting took place in Frankfurt – which we should explain for our student readers is in Germany – because every US merger now will be with German firms. And the Magic Circle firms are rumoured [in Alex’s head] to be considering laying off 97% of their associates. Also, the seas around the UK will boil and the mountains will melt.”


I never saw the synergy between a decent firm like A&O and a total middling turd like O’Melveny. Thank God A&O saw the light and flushed this down the trap.


lol you absolute gimp they werent courting omelveny for their UK practice, they were doing it to boost A&O’s 3rd rate US practice


Any news on retention rates or salary raises at SPB?!?


Not this month’s raise no, still to be announced.


A few extra crumbs and fresh air breaks have been offered.

As for the retention rate, obviously this is 100%. No one else has managed to escape Shawshank since I did in 1966.


Good move by Allen & overy. They deserve better than o’melveny


O’Meveny is a middling firm in the US, but still better than all the MC.


Y u high again blud ??


no, hes absolutely right. the MC suck ass in the US

Emperor Hirohito

The MC suck ass just about anywhere outside of the UK. Freshfields is ok in Gemany only cos of the Bruckhaus Deringer bit. CC maybe in Luxembourg. Other than that, mere British wishful thinking. We’re not an empire any more, old boys.


Should try Simmons ‘n Simmons.


CMS are looking for a merger partner in the US. Surely a prime candidate to gobble-up.


Imagine the powerhouse…





Or Slaughter ‘n’ May


Just LOL at these small fry UK firms trying to keep up with the US mega firms. Forget it boyos. You’ll be toast within a decade. US firms are swinging their enormous wangs in London already.


When LC ran this around 1 August last year, I warned that there was a risk that the little US outfit would hoover up A & O’s intelligence on which European companies and sectors would be movers and shakers, and then drop out.

I said if a & o did not have anyone from the CIA in their partnership, they should watch out.

19 downvotes to 1 up vote, was the final verdict.

One wag responded….u wot m8.

What a turnaround ! 19 to 1. Thankfully I am not a sitting duck in prison !

CMS Trainee

Does anyone have the NQ data for Taft Stettinius & Hollister please?


Back to billing, slave!


What, no love for CMS?


So Lester wasn’t cleared:

“The headline to our article “Lord Lester cleared of peerage-for-sex claims” (News, last week) incorrectly suggested, when read alone, that Ms Jasvinder Sanghera’s complaint to the House of Lords about Lord Lester’s conduct may have been dismissed. The article reported on the outcome of an investigation into Lord Lester by the Bar Standards Board. The findings of an earlier House of Lords committee are unaffected by this ruling. We apologise for any distress caused.”


Due to start my training contract next week and bulking up my wardrobe. What is the consensus on tasteful underboob? The firm is silver circle if that helps.


We have agreed a two year secondment with your firm. You start next Monday; an excessive under-boob will be managed accordingly.


What would the NQ salary have been at this hypothetical outfit?


LMAO why does it matter?

Tolstoy’s bicycle

It would obviously go full Cravath brah, obviously. Would somebody pass me the fucking glue?!




Yeah boiii. Time to apply to OMM…!


What’s the NQ like at this shop. Website suggests only a small handful of people in the office – is it a growing team on the up?


Probably not lol. They’re a small outpost and NQ salary is like 115k or such. I doubt they’ll grow much, especially post-Brexit. Top PE whack tho.

SPB Arbitration Sep 19

OOOOOOF top whack. How do I join?


I honestly think they’d take you if you’re an NQ or up to 3PQE. Afaik, most US firms would kill for trained NQs as they haven’t got the infrastructure to train their own noobs well.

SPB Arbitration Sep 19

Excellent. Will get my recruiter teed-up this afternoon. US dolla here I come!

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