This time, Washington D.C. law firm Patton Boggs LLP is in merger talks with international law firm Squire Sanders LLP. This is the latest move for a merger by Patton Boggs after the merger talks with Locke Lord failed and other unconfirmed attempts that did not yield results. The talks between Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders is right now at a very preliminary stage, the law firms confirmed in a joint statement issued on Wednesday.
While Patton Boggs remains a veritable lobbying powerhouse in Washington D.C., the firm has been plagued in recent years by falling revenue, partner departures, layoffs and outcomes of attempts to radically restructure itself.
The 1,300-lawyer Squire Sanders has been expanding recently by teaming up with other law firms based on a Swiss Verein structure in which a number of law firms share the same brand but retain financial autonomy. Right now Squire Sanders has 39 offices worldwide with clients like Barclays, BP, DuPont, GE and Boeing.
The joint statement issued by the firms observed with caution, “Discussions are in very early stages, and there is no assurance that a combination will be completed.”
Patton Boggs desperately needs a merger by all signs, as besides losing more than 100 lawyers including key rainmakers over the last two years, the law firm also announced recently that it might be compelled to shut down its Newark office due to lack of profitability. The firm has also undergone two recent rounds of layoffs shedding more than 70 staff members and about 40 attorneys.
The headcount of equity partners continue to drop in Patton Boggs, and according to the Managing Partner Ed Newberry, the number of equity partners at the firm might fall to 70 by the end of 2014.