When news broke that senior leadership from Allen & Overy and O’Melveny & Myers had been deep in merger conversations, the Biglaw landscape allow out a collective gasp. The proposed mega-merger would result in a 3,000-legal professional company bringing in roughly $2.8 billion in once-a-year revenue. At to start with blush, the deal made a ton of perception. A&O wants to bulk up its North American presence, even though O’Melveny has been on the prowl for a merger partner for some time now.
We’re all mainly the passionate comedy finest close friends who know these two are perfect for each individual other, but we’ve received a symbolic 90 minutes of dreck to fill, so of course they are not heading to make this merger straightforward.
The to start with wrinkle cropped up in just minutes of American Lawyer breaking the merger tale, when O’Melveny arrived at out to flatly deny that they’ve ever prepared to merge with anyone. Oh, O’Melveny. You are only lying to yourself. Get over your stubborn pleasure and go to her!
Allen & Overy, meanwhile, verified that they had been in talks with an unnamed company but tried using to perform it awesome. But if they succeeded in presenting a rigid upper lip to the public, internally they faced a downright breakdown. As ALM’s Rose Walker has it, a number of key associates in A&O’s London’s headquarters are “dead against” merging with O’Melveny, and they are heading to the press with their worries:
Whilst Allen & Overy associates had been educated at the start out of the yr that the company was chatting about a possible U.S. tie-up, no names experienced been offered to associates before final Friday. Information of conversations with O’Melveny astonished lots of, with just one source describing the initial reaction in some quarters as “quite violent.”
A single Allen & Overy partner instructed Authorized Week that most of the firm’s London place of work are “dead against” the proposed merger, even though yet another senior partner who not long ago left the company explained that “lots of persons in London do not want this.”
Why the turmoil? Well, as you’d anticipate, some consider the British woman is just as well superior for the tough-and-tumble American. O’Melveny’s poor-boy image as a litigation-centered company just doesn’t suit the mould some persons have for Allen & Overy. All that courtroom preventing is no location for a prim-and-good banking company. Other sources be aware that the proposed merger would leave Allen & Overy with a lot more function to do — they’d have a more substantial American beachhead, but they’d want to expend considerable methods bulking up the O’Melveny transactional side to supply what they come to feel their customers want. Just like every just one of these movies… she’s heading to have to change him before this all operates out.
Whilst things search bleak proper now for this Biglaw tie-up, we’re even now fairly early in the saga and there is a lot more than adequate time to established things proper. Just get ready for the second act, where by Allen & Overy wildly misinterprets O’Melveny chatting with former possible merger partner Willkie Farr & Gallagher and O’Melveny has to operate to the airport before A&O flies out of O’Melveny’s daily life permanently.
We’re rooting for you two!
Allen & Overy Faces Skepticism Around O’Melveny Merger as Uncertainties Emerge Among the Partnership [International]
Previously: Allen & Overy And O’Melveny Are Contemplating Merger (Be sure to Name It Allen & O’Melvery)
O’Melveny Tells ATL ‘We Have No Options To Merge And By no means Have.’
Joe Patrice is an editor at Above the Law and co-host of Contemplating Like A Lawyer. Truly feel cost-free to email any recommendations, thoughts, or feedback. Observe him on Twitter if you’re intrigued in regulation, politics, and a wholesome dose of college or university sports activities news.