MERGER talks between London law firm DWF, which owns Newcastle-based Crutes, and larger Manchester firm Cobbetts are over.
Both firms had confirmed that they were in talks which might lead to the creation major new business in the North West. The combined business would have had a turnover of £127m and 1,800 staff.
But yesterday a joint statement confirmed that the merger, expected to be ratified by May 1, had been cancelled.
It said: “The preliminary discussions between DWF and Cobbetts regarding a potential merger have now come to a conclusion and we have made the decision not to progress these talks any further due to the current uncertainty in market conditions. Growth by merger and lateral hires continues to be an option for both firms, but until any discussions are brought to a conclusion, we will not be in a position to talk about them publicly.”
Speculation about a tie-up between DWF and Cobbetts surfaced last autumn when it emerged the domain name dwfcobbetts.com had been registered. DWF, which has been expanding into the regions and now has offices including Manchester, Preston, Liverpool, Birmingham and London, bought long-established Newcastle firm Crutes last month.