Sometimes you feel like giving up on mergers altogether.
Womble Bond Dickinson is wombling free once more – but not by choice, RollOnFriday understands.
"Both firms have decided that the best path forward is to remain independent of each other”, they said, after due diligence by one of them revealed the other ate with their mouth open and had a lot of time for flat earth theories.
“Excellent relationships have been established and the firms will continue to work closely together in the future”, they added, in the law firm equivalent of a promise to stay good friends after dumping someone three dates in.
Multiple sources told ROF that BDBP was the party which backed away. One insider claimed that Pitmans pulled out “due to a poor cultural fit”. Another source affiliated with BDPP told ROF it was “absolutely from our side. It was not in the best interests of the firm”.
Wombles declined to comment, but it had its defenders, too. Like a celebrity conscious uncoupling, behind the blissful public split there has been some positioning.
In 2017 Bond Dickinson merged with US firm Womble Carlyle, which gave it the unusual calling card of offices in Plymouth and Silicon Valley. BDB Pitmans is less than half the size of WBD’s UK operations, with around 220 fee earners and 175 support staff.
The Womble could have done with some good news after a couple of PR clusterfooks. It is facing a potentially sticky situation in relation to its involvement in the Post Office Horizon scandal, and made a fool of itself by threatening to sue the government for dropping it from a panel.
Of course, the collapse of merger talks could also be down to the result of RollOnFriday’s readers poll to decide the combined firms’ new name. Legally enforceable, the winning proposal was the questionable ‘WBDBDBP’.