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BakerHostetler Merging with Woodcock Washburn
Woodcock Washburn LLP and BakerHostetler are doing it because everybody is doing it. The urge to merge is hot upon us against this cold cold legal market, in which firms are so pressed for business, and so at each other’s throats, either stealing each other’s clients or poaching each other’s talent, that a little bit of love is a welcome alternative to the animosity.
And just as in any good marriage, one must be practical in their choice. One must ask, what assets do each of us bring? If I’m going to lose my name to you, you better make it worth my while. In the case of BakerHostetler, they will nearly double the size of their intellectual property team. Washburn also brings its friendship with Microsoft, an enviable client to hold, so that BakerHostetler will stay busy even when business is flat. Woodcock meanwhile will gain access to a powerful litigation practice and to a national legal platform, as Philly.com reported.
“During the recession, a lot of firms did have the strength to continue to do acquisitions, but they put the brakes on when people became concerned about he legal market, and they basically drew back from their strategy,” said Tom Clay, a specialist in law firm mergers at Altman Weil. “And they began to deal with issues like productivity and reducing overhead.” Mergers, in other words, have changed.
And yet they persist, with a hope for each to gain more than sheer bulk in the merger, but something like a balance of talents.BakerHostetler Merging with Woodcock Washburn by Daniel June