International commercial firms Clyde & Co and BLM declined to comment today on reports of merger talks - but stopped well short of a denial. A merged practice would rank in the top dozen UK-based firms. Clyde & Co currently has 2,500 legal professionals in 50 offices worldwide while BLM has 800 in 13 offices across the UK and Ireland.
A Cyde & Co spokesperson said: 'We are a firm that has a track record of growth and of continually developing our capabilities for the benefit of our clients. At any time we are in discussion with a number of firms, teams or individual lawyers and it is our practice not to comment on these until they near or reach conclusion.'
A statement from BLM echoed: 'We are regularly looking at opportunities to further our growth ambitions and often attract parties interested in best utilising our strong market position. At any one time therefore, we may be assessing a number of these opportunities be they acquisition, strategic hire, merger or investment proposition. In a consolidating market now is no different but we will not take any such opportunities forward unless they help us to progress our vision and are in the best interests of our people, the firm and clients.’
The report is the latest sign of merger activity in the sector reviving following the pandemic. Last month top 200 firms Goodman Derrick LLP and Royds Withy King LLP revealed that they are in discussions with a view to merging to create RWK Goodman LLP with effect from next May.