May 3, 2012 / 5:00 AM / 6 years ago

Dewey & LeBoeuf, SNR Denton merger talks collapse: WSJ

(Reuters) - Merger talks between law firms Dewey & LeBoeuf and SNR Denton collapsed on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

People walk past a sign outside the law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf in New York City May 1, 2012. The New York law firm, struggling with a debt crisis and criminal probe of its former chairman, has "encouraged" its partners to seek new jobs, one partner said, citing an internal memo. REUTERS/Lee Celano

Dewey & LeBoeuf, which is struggling with a debt crisis and criminal probe of its former chairman, is considering a number of alternatives including deals with other law firms.

The full-merger discussions “effectively ended” after Dewey & LeBoeuf sent an email on Monday night encouraging its partners to seek new jobs, according to the newspaper.

SNR Denton had suggested a full merger, in which it would have taken on more than 1,000 remaining Dewey lawyers, the Journal said.

However, a Dewey spokesman told Reuters that “the firm is continuing to talk with SNR Denton and other firms.”

Elliott Portnoy, SNR Denton’s global chief executive, declined to comment on the merger talks.

Earlier, Dewey’s talks with rival Greenberg Traurig about a possible transaction fell through, according to an internal e-mail sent Sunday and reviewed by Reuters.

Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in BANGALORE and Nate Raymond in NEW YORK; Editing by Chris Lewis

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