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Rumor: King & Spalding to Acquire Most Thacher Proffitt counsel [Update]
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Atlanta-based King & Spalding is in talks to acquire most, but not all of Thacher Proffitt & Wood’s lawyers, according to the Legal Times. In order to avoid dissolution, New York-based Thacher hopes to find a partner to acquire it, these sources say.

One New York legal consultant says the discussions have been ongoing for the past three to four months, and that the firms hope to reach an agreement by year-end. The consultant says King & Spalding is considering taking on about 100 of Thacher’s 195 lawyers, but that it’s not yet clear which practices and offices the 100 lawyers would come from. “There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty about who’s going to be invited to the party,” says the consultant, who asked not to be named.


Thacher currently has 180 lawyers in New York, nine in Washington, and six in its Summit, N.J., office. Its overall headcount is down more than 100 lawyers compared to last year — and so are its profits. Profits per partner fell more than 22 percent in 2007 to $1.02 million, according to the Am Law 200.

Thacher Proffitt was founded in 1848. The firm had offices in the World Trade Center on 9/11.  The firm used to operate offices in Mexico City and White Plains, New York — those offices have since decamped to Chadbourne & Parke andGreenberg Traurig respectively.

King & Spalding is Atlanta’s oldest law firm, founded in 1885. It has 13 offices in the US, UK and the Middle East.

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The WSJ Law Blog says:

    The New York consultant and another individual familiar with the discussions say that if the deal falls through, Thacher Proffitt will likely go under.


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