In the end, it wasn’t the retirement issue or the cultural philosophy issue, but plain, old conflicts – and maybe cold, hard cash – that killed the promising engagement between Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski and Dallas’ Hughes & Luce.

“We are standing down at this time,” says Charles “Hank” Still, a senior partner and spokesman for Fulbright. Still says the firms made the decision sometime between Aug. 2 and Aug. 6.