Dallas-based Thompson & Knight has ended merger talks with Reed Smith. The firms made the announcement today, about six months after they began discussing a potential merger and before a partnership vote on the combination. Jeffrey Zlotky, managing partner of 350-lawyer Thompson & Knight, says no single issue led to the dissolution of talks. “It’s just very hard to make everything come together,” he says. “They have a great firm, we have a great firm and while there was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm of what we could accomplish together, there was also a lot of excitement about what we could accomplish on our own,” he says. Zlotky says talks, which began in mid-summer, stemmed from a personal relationship between Gregory Jordan, Reed Smith’s global managing partner, and Peter J. Riley, Zlotky’s predecessor as managing partner of Thompson & Knight. Riley passed away in 2009. Jordan could not be reached for immediate comment, but in a written statement he says, “We are very impressed with Thompson & Knight’s lawyers, practices and clients. Both firms are coming off record years in terms of profitability, but we cannot get all of the pieces in the right place now.” Zlotky says the talks with Reed Smith were a “unique opportunity” and his firm isn’t currently looking to merge with any firm. “It just wasn’t the right time right now. And this will sound funny but both firms truly had showed excellent results for last year. And you know what? That caused partners in both firms to say, ‘Hey we are doing well. Do we really need to do that?’ ” Thompson & Knight has 350 lawyers in 10 offices. Reed Smith has nearly 1,600 lawyers in 22 offices.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys