Dickstein Shapiro won’t be merging with Bryan Cave, according to an attorney at the law firm and two sources outside of the firm with knowledge of its recent discussions.
The potential merger fell through in the past few days, following a vote by Dickstein Shapiro partners on Dec. 14 to approve a tie-up, the sources said.
Bryan Cave partners had been prepared to vote on the merger two weeks ago. But Bloomberg Big Law Business reported on Monday that the Bryan Cave/Dickstein Shapiro merger may have “hit a snag” because Bryan Cave leaders wanted certain Dickstein Shapiro partners to commit to working at the new firm for longer than they would agree.
With no deal announced by year’s end, Washington-based 150-lawyer Dickstein Shapiro, which has struggled to hold on to key practice groups and steadily decreased to about half its size from 2012, may be vulnerable to the lateral market. Partner departures and lateral hirings are often most active at the beginning of the year. One partner, bankruptcy attorney Eric Fisher, is already leaving Dickstein Shapiro for the boutique litigation firm Binder & Schwartz in New York, the firm plans to announce on Monday.
Dickstein Shapiro’s chairman, chief operating officer and public relations specialist did not immediately responded to requests for comment.
When reached by The National Law Journal on Thursday, two members of Bryan Cave’s executive committee separately said they could not confirm nor deny anything about the merger discussions, and they referred all questions back to Therese Pritchard, Bryan Cave’s chairwoman. Pritchard and communications staff members at the firm have not responded to requests Thursday, or earlier in December regarding the merger talks.