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Altman Weil Foresees Increase in Law Firm Mergers

While law firm mergers continued at a below-average pace in the first quarter of 2010, a principal at Altman Weil said he expects law firm mergers to increase significantly later this year as firms recover from the recent tough economic times.

Tom Clay of legal consulting firm Altman Weil told the Philadelphia Business Journal he anticipates there to be a “ramp-up” period  followed by a significant increase in law firm mergers.

“Although we’re seeing a lot more interest in mergers and acquisitions behind the scenes this year, it will take some time for law firms to shift gears from the internal crisis management focus of 2009 back to an outwardly facing, strategic stance,” Clay told Business Journal. “There will be a ramp-up period in the next few quarters before we see the pace of deal-making increase significantly.”

So far in 2010 there have been just eight law firm mergers, according to Altman Weil’s MergerLine Web site. The Business Journal points out all the mergers included the acquisition of firms with fewer than 50 lawyers and five had fewer than 10 lawyers.

Altman Weil told the Business Journal there were 53 law firm mergers last year, which was a 24 percent decline from 2008.



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