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Mergers Aren’t Letting Up
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Law firms are merging at a dizzying pace, as fast as pre-recession activity, with 14 in the first quarter of 2012. With 15 of them in the first quarter of 2011, the urge to merge is persistent and steady, as hard hitting law firms strategize an aggressive consolidation to bank on squeezing overhead costs.

In January, McKenna Long and Aldridge announced its merger plane with Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripts, a merger finalized in March, resulting in a new firm 550 lawyers strong. K&L Gates merged with Marini Salsi Picciau in Milan. Littler Mendelson went to Memphis when it gained Kiesewetter Wise Kaplan Prather. Jackson Lewis bolstered its Milwaukee presence with a merger to Simandl & Prentice. Baker Donelson doubled its merger swagger with the gain of Drucker Rutledge & Smith. Womble Carlyle snapped up Hall and Bowers.

With the last 6 quarters averaging 15 mergers apiece, the fierce merging madness looks to be on sway for the rest of 2012. The merging strategy seems a natural response to tough markets that are blocking normal avenues of expansion.

  
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With 14 mergers involving 5,400 lawyers this year, compared to 15 mergers involving 1,500 last year, it seems the world of law is consolidating and structuring into a world of big names, with the local legal sector holding on for dear life.



 

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