A&O focuses on O’Melveny in US merger search
Allen & Overy has begun discussions of a merger with US firm O’Melveny & Myers, a deal that could lead to a £2 billion global firm, as calculated by The Lawyer.
A&O has been on the search for a US merger for some time now, and talks with O’Melveny are thought to have been opened several months ago, led by managing partner Andrew Ballheimer and senior partner Wim Dejonghe.
O’Melveny is a name that has circulated often in discussions of potential US merger candidates for the magic circle firm. A&O has hired O’Melveny lawyers before. Over a decade ago the firm hired O’Melveny banking partner Elizabeth Leckie for its New York office. In July 2011 O’Melveny lawyers Charles Borden, Chris Salter, and Barbara Stettner were recruited for the launch of the firm’s Washington DC branch.
Other US firms frequently mentioned as potential tie-up candidates for A&O include Shearman & Sterling, Ropes & Gray, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, and Fenwick & West.