Berwin Leighton Paisner has confirmed that it is in merger talks with US firm Greenberg Traurig.

On the face of it there are a couple of obvious synergies. Both firms have a very strong focus on real estate. Both are strongly focussed on their domestic markets and pretty much anonymous outside them: despite having 39 offices GT is largely unknown outside the States*.

GT launched in London in 2009 when it ditched its relationship with Olswang and hired Donald Trump Paul Maher from Mayer Brown to set up its own shop. It even let him put his name on the door, as the London office trades as Greenberg Traurig Maher. At the time Olswang said it wasn't particularly sorry to see the back of GT, and despite having some 50 lawyers GTM hasn't made much of an impact. A merger with an established, successful City firm must have its attractions.

  You never see them in the same room

For its part BLP would get a chance to have a proper crack at the US market, something that no City firm has really managed. But it's smaller than GT (700 lawyers to 1,800) and less profitable (PEP for last year stood at $1.09m and $1.42m respectively), so it's clear who'd be the top in this relationship.

Both firms issued press releases on Wednesday confirming they were in "preliminary merger discussions".

*39. Seriously, 39, and most people haven't even heard of it. BLP fact fans may like to know that their potential Daddy is based in Miami, recently hired Rudy Giuliani, former hard-man mayor of New York, and fired rainmaking lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2004 after he was involved in a corruption scandal that ended up in a six year jail term. Otherwise, fine.
Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 05 February 16 11:37

Didn't Olswang's Berlin real estate team (mostly former Freshfields people) recently set up shop for GT in germany?

Anonymous 07 February 16 21:56

Comparing Paul Maher to Donald Trump makes little sense. Paul Maher has achieved a lot and yet remains very humble.

Anonymous 10 February 16 18:18

"GTM hasn't made much of an impact"

Really? Its various rankings - which often exceed BLP's - would suggest otherwise.

Anonymous 21 February 16 21:06

Paul Maher: 'I earn 7 million dollars a year - do you know how much I'm worth?! 60 million dollars!! Why do you think I left Mayer Brown to join a third tier firm? For MONEY! I have built a great company. I am very rich.

Anonymous 22 February 16 10:10

@ anon 21:06

Well, he has established a pretty damn solid outfit in London by all accounts.

Anonymous 22 February 16 10:41

And become very rich, Paul Maher is the highest paid lawyer in London. He sold himself to a 3rd tier firm.

Anonymous 22 February 16 13:24

Maher started up with 3 in July '10 (courage!), top quality, high value, loyal to clients and team and puts clients and firm 1st. Whether we merge or not, proud to be his partner. Interesting how jealousy finds way into anonylons comments. RAR, Exec Chair of GT (PS $$ wrong of course!)

Anonymous 22 February 16 16:23

4-7 million a year! Hoards of cash, the man sold himself. GTM started in 09, clearly this exec chair knows his stuff!

Anonymous 22 February 16 19:22

Come on haters, look at GTM: it's a good mid-tier London firm doing good work for good clients. The other GT European offices are also good. The Warsaw office is literally one of the best firms in Poland, the Berlin office is excellent for real-estate (its focus) and the Amsterdam office is decent. I don't know much about the firm in the US, but I doubt very much a firm with such quality outposts in Europe is somehow useless in the US.

Anonymous 22 February 16 21:00

GTM is an elite firm for M and A. Credit to Paul Maher. 0-15m turnover in 5 years. 35% profit margin. Bravo ??. Few people would be able to achieve that.

Anonymous 13 May 18 16:58

Maher joined GT in 09’ for $10 million, paid out to him over 2 years. He has earnt 4 - 5 million dollars a year since then - making him one of the highest earning lawyers in the City.

Anonymous 09 February 19 23:13

Paul Maher is an exceptional lawyer. Testament to this are the talented team of lawyers he has retained throughout his career, the clients he has served for over 30 years and the accolades he has won: Lawyer of the Year 2007 (The Lawyer Awards), Senior Partner of the year in 2001 (The Lawyer Awards), ranked as the most innovative lawyer in London by the Finanical Times in 2008, Legal Week Partner of the Year in 2005, as well as an award for client excellence in 2015 to mention just a few.  In addition to this, he was appointed Senior Partner of Rowe and Maw aged 39, a firm founded in 1881, that had 160 million dollars revenue in 2000. He then brokered a transaction to combine Rowe and Maw with Mayer Brown and Platt, that represented the largest transatlantic merger in corporate history at the time, and created the worlds 10th largest law firm by revenue. He then led the European business for 5 years, which comprised of over 700 people, which experienced immense progression both quantitatively and qualitatively under his stewardship. He was then responsible for brokering a merger between Mayer Brown and JSM that furthered the firms success. Finally, he was appointed to a 3 person Office of Chairman where he was solely responsible for the firms global strategy. Only to leave because parts of the board wouldn't sanction the acquisition of Heller Erhman, a transaction he was in favour of. Comparing Paul Maher to Donald Trump is nonsensical. Paul Maher is a model professional, and an outstanding lawyer. This article is drivel.