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It’s over: German firm Luther calls off Addleshaws merger talks

Merger talks between Addleshaw Goddard and German outfit Luther have ended after Luther called off the deal, Legal Business understands.

Legal Business reported in January that Addleshaws was in talks to merge with full-service firm Luther, which has ten offices across Germany including Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. It also has international bases in Brussels, Shanghai, Luxembourg, Yangon, Singapore and London.

According to one source, the talks ended at least a month ago, with Luther making the call.

Despite the talks being called off, another source close to the firm told Legal Business that Addleshaws is still very keen on securing a German tie-up.

Luther’s website states that its worldwide turnover for the financial year 2015/16 was €124m, while the firm’s German revenues amounted to €110.3m.

Had the firms had merged, Addleshaws, which posted revenues of £201.8m for the financial year 2015, would have easily reached its stated goal of becoming a £250m firm by the financial year 2017/18.

On 1 June, Addleshaws finally secured a long-awaited Scottish presence when the firm’s merger with HBJ Gateley went live.

Partners at both firms have attended the first partner conference since the merger, which was held in Edinburgh last Friday.

The Addleshaws-HBJ Gateley tie-up, which will integrate HBJ’s entire Scottish office into Addleshaws, has already resulted in new mandates for the firm. Addleshaws will be appointed as pharmaceutical company Celesio’s preferred law firm on all Scottish real estate matters, according to a statement.

Addleshaws also expects to grow in a number of industry sectors, particularly real estate, financial services and energy.

Four HBJ Gateley partners have also joined the executive team heading Addleshaws’ four operating divisions: David Kirchin in the corporate team, Alan Shanks in finance, Simon Catto in litigation and Miles Ede in real estate.

Last year, merger talks between Addleshaws and Scottish independent Maclay Murray & Spens to create a national practice with combined revenues of around £230m were called off.

Maclays is one of Scotland’s last remaining major independent firms, following Dundas & Wilson’s 2014 merger with CMS, McGrigors’ 2012 tie-up with Pinsent Masons, and Clyde & Co’s takeover of Simpson Marwick last year. Maclays had previously entered talks with Bond Pearce in 2011.

Addleshaw and Luther declined to comment.