Top-25 corporate firm Addleshaw Goddard will not be merging with one of Scotland’s biggest remaining independents, following unconfirmed speculation last year that talks were under way with Maclay Murray & Spens.

Reports suggested that a merger between the two firms would be put to a partner vote and could be completed by May 2016. But Maclays said today that although it keeps in touch with firms on an ongoing basis, with discussions sometimes encompassing the possibility of collaborating, it was not in ‘any ongoing discussions with any firm at the moment’.

The firm said: ‘We are resolutely committed to growing the firm: organically; through lateral hires; strategic acquisitions; or mergers. 

‘However, any such move has been and will continue to be assessed on the individual financial and strategic merits.’

Maclays has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow (pictured), Aberdeen and London. Any merger involving the firm would raise further questions about the state of an independent Scottish legal profession, leaving only Shepherd and Wedderburn left of the traditional Scottish ‘big four’ law firms.

Over the past few years, CMS Cameron McKenna has taken over Dundas & Wilson and Pinsent Masons has merged with Edinburgh-based McGrigors. English firms TLT, DWF and Shoosmiths have also established a presence north of the border. Maclays had previously entered talks with legacy firm Bond Pearce in 2011.

Addleshaw Goddard declined to comment.