Despite the promise of a powerhouse combination, the expected merger of White & Case and Brown & Wood foundered in the 11th hour, primarily over questions of leadership and accounting.

The two firms, which had been in talks for about five months, had picked out a new name — White & Case Brown & Wood — and had even slogged through 95 percent of the work it takes to merge separate entities into a single 1,200-lawyer firm.

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