Four years ago, it was the law firm merger everybody was talking about. Then it didn’t happen.

The proposed combination between New York’s Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and London’s Ashurst Morris Crisp was to have been the first trans-Atlantic merger of firms of equal size, practice strength and profitability. But more than a year of discussions between the firms failed to produce a deal and talks were called off in May 2003.

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