It was a big year for explosive news in the legal industry. LeClairRyan's bankruptcy landed the firm on 2019's final legal lambs list, while Mayer Brown's four wins at the U.S. Supreme Court last term secured it a spot among the legal lions.
Here, Law360 rounds up 2019's noteworthy legal industry peaks and valleys with one final legal lions and lambs list.
Trans-Atlantic Merger Talks Disintegrate
The legal industry sat up and took notice when, in September, merger talks between U.K.-based Allen & Overy LLP and U.S.-based O'Melveny & Myers LLP fell apart after more than a year of discussions about a possible tie-up. The combination would have created an approximately 3,500-attorney firm.
A source familiar with the matter told Law360 that the main reason the merger talks were called off was the unsteady macroeconomic climate, particularly the effect of fluctuating foreign exchange rates and lower U.S. interest rates on the deal's valuation.
Sealing the deal on a financially integrated trans-Atlantic merger between two large law firms is like Simone Biles landing her triple double flip — "everything must go perfectly" for it to work, Jon Lindsey of Major Lindsey & Africa told Law360 at the time.
More often than not, it doesn't go perfectly, he said. Currency fluctuations in Britain with the uncertainty of Brexit could easily have been one of several factors that resulted in a crash landing for the deal, he said.