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Womble Bond Dickinson and BDB Pitmans table merger

Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) and BDB Pitmans are continuing to pursue a strategy of development through consolidation, having confirmed they are in talks over a potential merger.

After RollOnFriday broke the news of the merger talks today (21 October), the firms said in a joint statement: ‘Leading transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson and leading UK firm BDB Pitmans confirm that they are in early discussions around a potential merger. Both firms regularly review opportunities to advance the best interests of their clients and their respective firms. Womble Bond Dickinson and BDB Pitmans are focused on where they see the greatest opportunities for a merged business, including those offered by complementary practice areas and office locations.

‘As discussions are ongoing, both firms have no further information to share at this time.’

Staff at both firms are well acquainted with the merger process, given their respective strategies in recent years. WBD in its current form was established in 2017, when national firm Bond Dickinson (itself the result of the 2013 union of Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce) joined up with its US strategic ally Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. A year later, partners of Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans voted for a £50m merger and move to an alternative business structure, establishing BDB Pitmans in its current form.

Any deal that is struck would not represent a merger of equals, given the disparity in size between the two firms. With offices both sides of the Atlantic, WBD’s latest revenue figure reached £379m after a 2% increase, while UK-only Pitmans’ came in at £53.3m following a 3% fall. The benefit to WBD is likely to come from the boost a tie-up would have on its UK business, which this year generated £113.8m. For Pitmans, a merger would grant access to a network of US offices previously unavailable to the national firm.