Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens and Bristol's Bond Pearce have ended merger discussions after months of talks. And it's not the first time they've tried as mid-market firms continue to scrabble around for merger partners.

Financially, the two firms are remarkably alike as they share identical PEP and very similar turnover. And both have an office in London. Yet embarrassingly, it's the second time that discussions have failed. The firms had a crack at a merger a couple of years ago, but entirely failed to get beyond first base, stopping short of asking partners to vote for the tie-up.

    Will there be a happy ending for Maclay Murray & Spens and Bond Pearce?

The collapse is just another log on the fire of failed mergers. Just over a month ago, it was revealed that DWF and Cobbetts would be shelving merging plans (despite, in a moment of breathless excitement, having registered the website And who could forget the bitterness provoked when Herbert Smith was turned down by its best friends on the continent, Gleiss Lutz and Stibbe, and immediately pulled out of its whole European alliance? Then there was Dundas & Wilson's overture to Bircham Dyson Bell, a move so wrongheaded that it led to the firm's Chairman "welcoming" the resignation of Dundas' managing partner last week. At least the tie-up of McGrigors and Pinsent Masons seems to be heading for a successful conclusion. But with the 1st May launch date still some weeks away, anything could still happen.

A spokeswoman for Bond Pearce said "We’re growing organically along with exploring various options including merger and acquisition in order to support our strategy". She added that the firm was not "currently in formal discussions" with anyone about a merger. And MMS similarly confirmed that the firm was not "currently" in merger discussions. So maybe it'll be third time lucky.

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Anonymous 16 March 12 15:42

Don't forget the failed merger of Clyde and BLG! ...oh wait

Anonymous 18 April 12 14:20

I suspect MMS have seen sense.