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If Gouldens does surrender itself into the arms of Ohio giant Jones Day Reavis & Pogue – and the signs are that it will – you will not be able to accuse it of indulging in half measures. Not only is Jones Day the third largest firm in the US, it is also as far removed from the quirky, individualistic Gouldens in cultural terms as you can imagine. The business fit between the two firms does not exactly hit you between the eyes either. Stateside, Jones Day is dominated by its litigation practice and the firm has historically struggled to persuade its impressive roster of litigation clients to hand it the big-ticket M&A work – although it has one of the most reliable small and mid-market transactional practices in the US.

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