By Casey Sullivan
Jan 11 (Reuters) - Merger discussions between the large New
York law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and the smaller
Washington firm Dickstein Shapiro have ended, according to three
sources familiar with the matter.
Leaders from the two firms pursued merger discussions and
exchanged financial information in several meetings over the
past two months, but the talks ended on Thursday, according to
One person familiar with the talks but who requested
anonymity said that "conflicts of strategy" scuttled
negotiations. "The finances indicated that one firm's strengths
were in one (practice) area while the other firm's strengths
were in another," the source said.
The merger discussions had been proceeding quietly. Two
partners from Dickstein and two partners from Pillsbury were
unaware of the details of the talks when contacted on Friday by
Reuters. One Dickstein partner said that at a partners' meeting
in mid-December the firm's leaders had acknowledged that
Dickstein had engaged in discussions with Pillsbury.
A Dickstein spokeswoman declined to comment on what she
called "rumors" and said that the Washington firm is "optimistic
about our model and our future, and plan to continue with our
strategic focus of targeted growth in our highly regarded,
A Pillsbury spokesman and the firm's chairman Jim Rishwain,
did not respond to a request for comment.
Pillsbury, with 615 lawyers, and Dickstein, with 340
lawyers, initiated talks at a time when law firms including DLA
Piper, Baker & McKenzie, and K&L Gates have grown rapidly
through mergers to employ thousands of lawyers worldwide. The
firms are attempting to meet clients' global demands and to
establish better known brands.
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