Fulbright and Pillsbury Making Bedroom Eyes that Could Lead to Merger
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Love is in the air — and it may be more than just talk when it is reported that Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman is possibly merging with Fulbright & Jaworski. Such a romance would have global results. Fulbright already flaunts 900 lawyers, while Pillsbury is no dough boy with its 700. If the titans get past the prenups, we are looking at a global superpower 1,600 strong.

But how likely is it? Three sources working with lawyers from Pillsbury have claimed the discussions are under way. More than that, they’ve both agreed not to poach lawyers from each other for a long time, and that is a good clue that financial information has been exchanged.

Fulbright’s 17 international offices, combined with Pillsbury’s 15, will give a spread of lawyers “throughout 25 to 30 offices,” said the sources.


Pillsbury has made such talk before, but this is the one of the few firms in recent history they seem serious about. Though they have gotten cold feet about Nixon Peabody; Chadbourne & Parke; and Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge; only following through with Wildman Harold Allen and Dixon, they seem serious on this one too. Neither firm has confirmed the report, and Pillsbury chairman Jim Rishwain declined commenting, but a few weeks ago he had said

“Over time we have aspirations to become a global firm. I will just say there are many tactics and approaches to getting to that place. We are open to pursuing every single approach.”

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