Stewarts Law calls off Enyo merger

Stewarts Law has called off its merger talks with fellow litigation boutique Enyo, scrapping a deal that would have added £20m to its top line.

The firms confirmed: “Following very preliminary and exploratory discussions both firms have decided not to pursue matters further.”

Stewarts Law managing partner John Cahill added: “Our preference is to continue down the path of organic growth and selected lateral hires. Our record growth over the last five years has been impressive and has not been driven by merger or acquisition.”

The Lawyer revealed last week that Stewarts was in talks to acquire the commercial litigation boutique to boost its firm revenue by £20m.

The acquisition would have brought Stewarts Law closer to its ambition to become the first £100m-revenue litigation boutique. It posted revenue up 18 per cent to £62m last year, while profit climbed 26 per cent to £29m. Its top of equity is currently around £1.8m.

Its potential target Enyo was launched by former Addleshaw Goddard head of litigation Simon Twigden in 2010, alongside founding partners Pietro Marino and Michael Green, who also spun-off from Addleshaws.

The firm’s 2015/16 LLP filings show it raked in £12.5m in profit last year, up from £8.1m the year previously. However, a large percentage of the firm’s turnover is understood to relate to its work for the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), a £67bn sovereign wealth fund, for which it is running two cases against Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale.

A source close to the firm said around 70 per cent of its turnover came from its relationship with the LIA, although another source claimed this was a high estimate. Enyo’s work for the LIA will come to an end later this year after its £2.1bn claim against SocGen goes to trial on 1 May. It lost its related £1.2bn suit against Goldman Sachs in October last year.

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