Shakespeares and Davenport Lyons call of merger talks

January 30, 2014 Shakespeares and Davenport Lyons called off their merger negotiations this week.
According to reports, Davenport Lyons will continue to look for a merger partner.

The firms are not saying what scuttled the negotiations, with Shakespeares CEO Paul Wilson merely noting: “We’re not presently in discussions with any law firm in the UK regarding mergers or takeovers.”

Shakespeares has publicly outlined its strategic aim to expand into a £50m mid-tier firm in 2014, and it’s plan to get there via acquisitions. In September 2013 the firm acquired Leicester-based Marrons and Coventry-based Newsome Vaughan and in May 2013 it merged with Leicester-based Harvey Ingram.

Davenport Lyons, for its part, has had a difficult year. The firm closed its film and TV group and reduced the size of its trainee cohort in November 2013, and saw its turnover drop from £24.5m to £21.9m in 2012/13. In the same period profit per equity partner dropped by 12.5 per cent to £197,000, following on from a 9% drop in PEP the previous year.

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