Legal Business

Addleshaws US talks reach decisive stage as firm enters discussions with German outfit Luther

Addleshaws US talks reach decisive stage as firm enters discussions with German outfit Luther

Hunton & Williams is to decide in the next fortnight whether it will move to the next stage in merger talks with Addleshaw Goddard, Legal Business has learned, with Addleshaws also in talks to merge with German outfit Luther.

Hunton is to make a decision on moving to the next stage with Addleshaws over the next two weeks. The merger talks are said to be going from strength to strength, despite previous speculation that the discussions were called off.

It is understood Hunton needs a high threshold to get permission to move ahead and the next stage is not a partnership vote as negotiations will continue.

According to the latest AmLaw 100, Hunton has 696 lawyers and 167 equity partners across 19 offices in the US, Europe and Asia. In 2015 it posted gross revenue of $528m, a 7% drop on 2014.

In addition, Addleshaws is in discussions with full service German firm Luther. Luther, which has ten offices across Germany including Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, also has offices in Brussels, Singapore and London.

According to Luther’s website, the firm’s turnover is €124m globally, of which €110.3m comes from Germany. If merger talks are successful, Addleshaws would easy reach its goal of achieving £250m in fee income by the financial year 2017/18.

The news comes just weeks after partners at Addleshaws voted through a takeover of HBJ Gateley‘s three Scottish offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

HBJ Gateley, which is not part of the English PLC due to rules around Alternative Business Structures in Scotland, had turnover of £21.9m in in 2015/16, making it the eighth biggest Scottish firm.

Added to Addleshaws’ top-line revenue of £201.8m in 2015/16, the deal will create a business worth around £220m. Growth was slower in 2015/16, up 5% while the year before the firm posted double digit revenue growth of 12%, up from £171m in 2013/14 to £193m for the financial year 2014/15.

kathryn.mccann@legalease.co.uk