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It is one of the City legal market’s best known stories. A big five accountancy firm strikes a deal to tie up with a top UK firm. The deal is announced in a blaze of publicity and we are told that it will only be a matter of time before the merger formally takes place. The same message is repeated when a number of partners, who oppose the tie-up, quit the firm. Then, suddenly, the marriage is off. The accountants walk away from the negotiating table leaving the reputation of the bean counters within the City’s legal community in tatters.

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