Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is taking advice from fellow U.K. firm Macfarlanes in relation to its proposed tie-up talks with Bryan Cave.
A Macfarlanes media representative confirmed that the firm is advising BLP, but stressed that it is not playing a prominent role in discussions. Macfarlanes is no stranger to law firm mergers, having previously advised on Slater & Gordon’s takeover of Russell Jones & Walker in 2012 and a 2015 union between British firms Irwin Mitchell and Thomas Eggar.
It emerged last week that BLP and Bryan Cave, which had been targeting a January date to complete their own combination, had hit a snag due to tax issues related to their desire for full financial integration in any deal. Global accounting giant Deloitte is also advising on the tax structure of the proposed merger between both firms.
“I think we are hoping to hear more [about the tax situation] before the end of the month,” said one BLP partner, who requested anonymity when discussing firm matters. “It should be imminent. People want to get on with it.”
Despite the delay, the unnamed BLP partner stressed that their firm and Bryan Cave still want to push ahead with a one-firm structure, rather than a looser form of affiliation, such as the Swiss verein or company limited by guarantee.
A source at Bryan Cave also said that they expected to be updated on the status of the delay in finalizing a deal by months’ end.
If the merger goes ahead, it will create a 1,500-lawyer global firm with combined revenues of roughly $1 billion, along with 32 offices in 12 countries around the world. The internet domain name www.bryancaveblp.com was registered anonymously on Oct. 12, only a few days before both firms officially acknowledged their merger talks. Another website name, www.blpbryancave.com, was registered later that month.