Ward Hadaway and Weightmans have today announced that they have mutually agreed to withdraw from their merger discussions. According to a statement, both firms could see undoubted benefits of the merger and have a great deal in common around culture and values.

Following discussions, however, both firms reached a consensus their respective strategic priorities were not sufficiently aligned to invest in such a significant merger.

Ward Hadaway Managing Partner Jamie Martin said: “We have enjoyed talking to John Schorah and his team and getting to know the people at Weightmans a bit better and we wish them well for the future. Nevertheless, we wish to continue to pursue our strategy of developing a ‘Northern Law Firm for National Business’ across our 3 offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester and our focus on providing legal services to Northern-based businesses.

“We have exciting opportunities to follow as an independent law firm. We are most grateful for the loyalty and support of our clients and staff throughout this period and we look forward to a great future together.”

Weightmans’ Managing Partner John Schorah said: “We have real respect for Ward Hadaway, they have a really good business with very good people. We have many common interests too, but after discussions it became clear that we each want different things from our respective futures. We sensibly agreed between us it was better to focus on those things.

“Weightmans’ new structure will be in place on 1 May as part of a comprehensive strategic review, always putting the client at the heart of what we do. We will continue to focus on growing a balanced practice of defendant insurance work as well as litigation, transaction and advisory services to our clients, whilst further developing our innovative technology to meet changing client needs.”