Let the mating ritual dance commence.
Clyde & Co and BLM have commenced talks regarding a potential merger.
Discussions are underway, although it is understood they are still at an early stage. So while there may be some strutting and sniffing and poring over spreadsheets, it may or may not result in the firms hooking up.
Clydes is the bigger beast, of course, with turnover at £639.6m in 2020/21 compared with BLM's £96.3m, meaning that a merger could result in a firm with combined revenues of over £730m.
Clydes' total staff number worldwide is around 4,000 compared with BLM's headcount of around 1,320, while Clydes has 440 partners with 2,000 legal professionals (excluding partners) compared with BLM's 212 partners and an additional 579 legal professionals.
10 years ago, when Clydes merged with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, the latter didn't even get a place on the letterhead (although, clutching at straws, at least the "Lyde" in BLG appears in the word "Clyde").
If a merger goes ahead this time, it remains to be seen whether any of BLM's letters will survive, though given the rise and rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the firm is probably desperate to ditch them just to leave behind the client jokes. Apparently, the following urls are currently up for grabs. Although RollOnFriday is not encouraging any mischievous cyber-squatting, of course.
“We are a firm that has a track record of growth and of continually developing our capabilities for the benefit of our clients," a Clyde & Co spokewoman told RollOnFriday. "At any time we are in discussion with a number of firms, teams or individual lawyers and it is our practice not to comment on these until they near or reach conclusion.”
A BLM spokeswoman told RollOnFriday, “We are regularly looking at opportunities to further our growth ambitions and often attract parties interested in best utilising our strong market position. At any one time therefore, we may be assessing a number of these opportunities be they acquisition, strategic hire, merger or investment proposition".
"In a consolidating market now is no different but we will not take any such opportunities forward unless they help us to progress our vision and are in the best interests of our people, the firm and clients", the BLM spokeswoman added.
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