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A little more than a week after news of tie-up talks between Foley & Lardner and London-based Eversheds made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic, the two firms have called off discussions on a potential combination.
Foley & Lardner chairman and CEO Jay Rothman, who assumed leadership of the 849-lawyer firm four years ago, said in an internal memorandum obtained by The Am Law Daily that a deal was not in play. The memo was distributed to firm personnel on Monday.
“We have had a mutually beneficial, nonexclusive referral relationship with Eversheds for a number of years,” Rothman wrote. “Although from time to time during that period there have been preliminary conversations around exploring a more formal affiliation between the two organizations, no decision was ever made by Foley to pursue such an affiliation.”
Rothman added that Foley & Lardner had concluded after “careful analysis” that a “combination or formal affiliation with Eversheds” was not in the best interests of the Milwaukee-based Am Law 100 firm or its clients.
“We have advised Eversheds that we are not interested in engaging in further discussions on that topic,” Rothman wrote. “Notwithstanding that decision, we remain committed to our strategic objective of expanding the global reach of our firm to better serve our clients.”
Eversheds media representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the time of this story. Partners at the firm voted last year to pursue a U.S. combination, according to our previous reports, and earlier this year Eversheds absorbed its German alliance partner Heisse Kursawe after a long courtship. The American Lawyer reported in its Global 100 rankings last month that 1,211-lawyer Eversheds took in $627.5 million in gross revenue during its last fiscal year.
Foley & Lardner saw gross revenue rise 3.3 percent in 2014, to $665 million, while profits per partner jumped 10.9 percent, to $1.065 million, according to the most recent Am Law 100 financial data. The firm, which last year renewed a lease to increase the size of its New York office, has entertained other potential merger partners in recent years.