Mayer Brown ends talks with Simmons

INTERNATIONAL law firm Mayer Brown has walked away from a potential merger with UK based Simmons & Simmons weeks after initial talks began.

Simmons management had approached the Chicago based firm a few weeks ago with hopes to sign a deal that could have created a trans-Atlantic business with revenues over £1bn and 2,400 lawyers globally.

Both firms said in a statement yesterday: “Mergers are complex and present a number of issues, which need to be resolved before discussions can proceed. We have concluded that a combination between our firms is not the right option.”

Mayer Brown and Simmons said they had parted ways amicably, with “considerable goodwill and respect” between both sides.

Management at Mayer Brown said although the firm wouldn’t rule out doing a deal with a rival outfit, it isn’t actively looking.

“Strategically, we aren’t seeking a large scale merger, but we do get regularly approached by firms and we do consider each on their own merit,” said London executive partner Jeremy Clay.

London senior partner Sean Connolly said the firm’s main strategy is to continue expanding the City office, without necessarily needing a merger.

Connolly said: “We are looking at focused growth in London which will be tied into the needs of our global client base.”

If the two had merged, Simmons would have gained access to Mayer Brown’s strong American network of offices and clients, while bringing the US firm to the Middle East.

But Mayer Brown management said the firm already has plans to open a Middle East office in the future.