Salans gears up for SNR Denton merger vote; 75% partnership approval required

Salans is gearing up to vote on its potential tie-up with SNR Denton, as merger talks between the firms advance.

Legal Week has learned that 75% of Salans partners will be required to approve the merger for it to go ahead, with the vote expected to take place imminently.

However, it is believed that SNR Denton partners have not yet been officially notified of a vote, or received an indication of when a vote will take place.

It is also understood that there has been no communication between practice group heads and their Salans counterparts.

Talks between the two firms’ senior management are thought to have begun last year. It is not yet known how the tie-up will be branded or financially structured.

SNR Denton, which was formed by the merger of UK firm Denton Wilde Sapte and US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in 2010, is structured as a Swiss verein.

The firm reported revenues of $712m (£443m) for 2011-12, which combined with Salans’ 2011 calendar year turnover of $287m (£179m) would create a firm worth a projected £622m.

Salans has 770 lawyers – including 192 partners – across 20 offices in 17 countries, with profits per equity partner (PEP) of $766,000 (£477,000).

SNR Denton, which reported global PEP of $738,000 (£460,000) for the 2011-12 financial year, has about 500 partners across offices in 14 countries, as well as associate offices in 30 further countries.

The news comes after it emerged at the end of 2011 that Salans’ alliance with Pinsent Masons had been terminated, with Pinsents subsequently opening a string of offices in continental Europe this year.