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San Francisco-based Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and D.C.’s Swidler Berlin Shereff & Friedman have called off merger discussions, according to senior officials at both firms. Two sources close to the discussions say client conflicts were discovered during the due diligence process. They say both firms are disappointed by the outcome. A merger of the two would have given Swidler, with 250 lawyers and offices in D.C. and New York, a national presence. Orrick, whose chairman, Ralph Baxter Jr., last year told The Recorder he wanted to make Orrick “one of the greatest law firms in the world,” has about 640 lawyers and 14 offices firmwide, but only a 50-lawyer outpost in Washington, D.C. Swidler isn’t the first firm Orrick has mulled marrying: In 2003, the firm tried to merge with Palo Alto, Calif.’s Cooley Godward and technology boutique the Venture Law Group. The firm also explored a merger with London’s Bird & Bird. While Orrick has gained about 100 lawyers since 2000, Swidler has lost more than 50 during the same period. Baxter and Swidler Managing Partner Barry Direnfeld did not return calls for comment.

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