Transatlantic mergers on the rise, but new rules make it har

by Vault Law Editors | October 01, 2010

  • My Vault

Hands across the water

•   Yesterday, the merger between Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and Denton Wilde Sapte went live. Notwithstanding a few skeptics (“SNR Denton movie unlikely to spawn sequel” and “Is it JUST me, or does SNR Denton sound like the name of a toothpaste?”), the transatlantic tie-up seems to have proceeded fairly smoothly and quickly so far.

•   … unlike the prospective union between SJ Berwin and Proskauer Rose. Discussions between the two firms have been dragging on for months and reportedly played a role in the defection of four SJ Berwin real estate partners to Irwin Mitchell. Nevertheless, SJB Senior Partner Jonathan Blake insists that, despite there being “a lot of issues to work out,” the merger is still on the table.

•   And there’s more on the megamerger front … The Am Law Daily reports that Reed Smith and Thompson & Knight are thinking of tying the knot. Should the wedding take place — and both firms emphasize the “preliminary” nature of the discussions — the combined firm would be among the world’s largest, with nearly 2,000 lawyers.

Barriers to entry

•   Foreign lawyers who want to cross-qualify in England and Wales will now have to pay more than £3,200 to complete a range of assessments — four times the amount charged under the previous qualification transfer exam scheme.

•   In another protectionist move, this summer the UK instituted a cap on the number of visas available for non-EU workers. Law firms now have quotas on the number of work permits issued — a development that could affect trainee recruitment and lateral hiring from non-EU markets.

•   Among the overseas markets frequently tapped for talent by British firms is India, which continues to bar those same firms from practicing in the country. This week, according to Legally India, the Ministry of Law and Justice issued statements confirming that “the Bar Council of India has decided not to permit foreign lawyers into India.” (hat tip to AmLaw Daily)

- posted by vera

Filed Under: Law

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