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Bingham McCutchen Talking Merger with Multiple Firms

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According to sources who have spoken to Reuters, Bingham McCutchen is looking for a large partner to merge with in the United States. The firm has reportedly reached out to four possible partners over the last couple of months.

Bingham has spoken with Chicago’s Winston & Strawn and Philadelphia’s Morgan Lewis & Bockius about possible mergers.

A couple of months ago, Bingham spoke with O’Melveny & Myers and Morrison & Foerster. Both of these firms rejected the offers from Bingham.

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“There is a shrinking legal market and the impetus to join forces to put yourself in a better position to compete is pretty strong,” said Carter Phillips, the chairman of Sidley Austin. Austin has hired away many of Bingham’s lawyers over the past couple of years.

Reuters was told in February by a spokeswoman for the firm that its revenue dropped by 12 percent. At the time, it stood at $762 million compared to $872 million in 2012. Pay cuts were issued last year and the firm has laid off an unknown number of staff and lawyers.

An exclusivity agreement is close to being signed between Bingham and Morgan Lewis. This means that the two firms cannot discuss mergers with other firms while their discussions are occurring.

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