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02 August 2018 at 11:02 BST

Speculation mounts over reports US/UK merger in 'due diligence' phase

Top management at O'Melveny & Myers and Allen & Overy in London talks as reports surface of 'due diligence' phase.

London: boost in figures for most law firms

Media speculation is growing concerning a possible tie-up between Allen & Overy and O’Melveny & Myers, following a meeting of top management in London. Reports are surfacing that discussions between the two firms have reached the ‘due diligence stage.’ The news of a deal first broke in April.

Top-level discussions

If the merger happens it would create a new global power with over 3,000 lawyers and combined revenues of £2bn ($2.8bn), making it one of the world’s largest law firms. There have been various reports that O’Melveny’s chairman Bradley Butwin and A&O’s senior partner Wim Dejonghe met at A&O in London, along with A&O’s managing partner Andrew Ballheimer and New York senior partner Tim House, and a number of the O’Melveny management.

Scepticism turning to optimism

Allen & Overy are saying developing their US is a priority and they have spoken to a number of law firms, and will comment when there is a definite deal on the table. The firm recently announced a good set of financial results, with profit per equity partner (PEP) increasing by 4% to £1.64 million, revenues up to £1.57 billion, and, net income improving by 3 percent to £690 million. Reports such that after initial scepticism there is much optimism a deal can be done. However, no formal proposals to partners can be expected until after the summer holiday period.


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