International practice Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and US-based Greenberg Traurig have called off merger talks after the firms decided they did not have enough ‘common ground’.

A merger would have created a practice with more than 2,500 lawyers, with a particular focus on the real estate and infrastructure sector.

But just over a month after news of the merger talks emerged, BLP today confirmed that the talks have ended.  

Lisa Mayhew (pictured), managing partner at BLP, said: ‘BLP has a clear strategy for growth which is why it considered this opportunity in the first place. There was no one single reason for both sides to decide that talks should conclude but basically we could not find enough common ground.’

She added: ‘BLP is an ambitious firm with a strong culture and reputation as a game-changer in the sector and we will continue to explore a range of opportunities that might further our long-term goals.’

Richard Rosenbaum, executive chair at Greenberg Traurig said: ‘Despite our rapid growth from three lawyers to 1,950 we have thus far never done a large merger. This is because of our basic belief that “culture eats strategy for lunch” and our conservative approach to financial risk.

‘Greenberg Traurig is a substantially larger and more diversified firm than BLP. We therefore maintain much broader practice priorities. The core real estate practice which first attracted us is indeed impressive, as are other BLP practices, and we have a great deal of respect for the firm as a whole. […] For Greenberg Traurig, it was quite exciting to enhance our practices, but not at the risk of materially diluting our cultural, financial and other priorities.’

He added: ‘However exciting, we do not grow for growth’s sake and we do not “fall in love” with a story or act on emotion; we run a disciplined operation, and will continue to run it and achieve our stated goals for the benefit of the many families who are dependent on us every day. 

‘We have added many shareholders, practices and offices in the last months and years and must intensely focus on integration and execution, including our continued build-out of a first-class London office of an appropriate size in today’s world and the number one global real estate practice.’

Greenberg Traurig has 1,950 lawyers, with offices in the US, Europe, Asia, Israel and Latin America. BLP has 850 lawyers across 14 offices in Europe, Asia and Israel.