Nabarro has scheduled its vote on the three-way merger with CMS and Olswang for two weeks’ time, The Lawyer has learned.
The partners have been given “information packs” to review prior to the vote. Should they vote in favour of the merger – and it is widely expected that they will – they will be asked to sign lock-ins immediately, according to an insider.
The information pack is understood to include financial information and due diligence reports on the two other firms.
Meanwhile Olswang partners and CMS partners are also understood to have not yet voted on the proposed merger.
A source close to Olswang said the partners “haven’t had much say” in the decisions made so far and a vote has not yet been scheduled.
The trio of firms were originally understood to be voting last Friday but a vote did not go ahead.
Nabarro’s latest voting timetable follows a conference call between the three firms on Friday morning (30 September) during which management informed the partners of the merger talks, which were held over the summer.
The Lawyer revealed later that day that CMS had spoken to its landlord about acquiring extra floors in its Cannon Place headquarters should the merger go ahead, in order to house all of Nabarro’s and Olswang’s lawyers.
Property agents Savills and CBRE were told by CMS’s landlord to put all ongoing leasing negotiations with other businesses on hold pending the result of the talks.
The three firms said they were in talks to merge in order to create a “differentiated, modern firm that would combine scale with an exceptional depth of sector expertise”.
The combined firm would post revenues of almost £1bn and have 3,358 lawyers and almost 1,000 partners. It would be the eighth largest UK firm by revenue, overtaking Herbert Smith Freehills, and the second largest UK firm by number of lawyers, behind DLA Piper.
The Lawyer understands the merger is going to be atypical in terms of structure and has been slated as “transformational” and “structurally unusual”.
The original press release can be found here on The Lawyer website.