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Locke Lord Finally Satiates its Urge to Merge
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Locke Lord

 

Summary: Dallas’s Locke Lord is merging with Boston’s Edwards Palmer.

  
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Locke Lord has been just itching for a merger. This Dallas based firm, 630-lawyers strong, knew it wanted to merge, has been doing it all along, and was getting antsy. They tried to make it happen with Washington D.C. firm Patton Boggs, but lost them, eventually. Now they’ve got their prize.

Though matters haven’t been wrapped up yet, Locke Lord is set on sweet nuptials with Boston based Edwards Wildman Palmer. Given that Edwards is a 450-lawyer outfit, the new arrangement would shoot Locke over 1,000 lawyers globally, with over $675 million annually, giving them formidable clout in Dallas.

“It’s no secret that we’ve been looking for the next merger opportunity,” said Jerry Clemens, Locke Lord Chairwoman, as reported by The Texas Lawbook. “Both firms have been through a number of successful combinations, but we think this one opens the door for something truly transformational.”

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Hopeful words. And the sort of icing any chairwoman would put on the cake. But this sort of urge to merge isn’t simply the result of 2014’s tepid market, in which both Locke and Edwards felt the pressure of lost profits. Instead, it’s been the MO of Locke all along.

Locke has revitalized itself over the years through a stream of mergers beginning with Locke Purnell’s merger with Liddell Sapp of Houston in 1999. Locke then absorbed Chicago’s Lord Bissell.



Edwards tempted Locke due to their competence in private equity, intellectual property, and life sciences, also giving them a solid position on the East coast.

“Our two firms share many similarities,” explained Ms. Clemens in a statement. “Exceptional and well respected lawyers; a wide geographical footprint in the United States and abroad; and highly regarded practices, including energy, private equity, insurance and reinsurance, intellectual property, litigations, real estate, health care, technology, and finance. We will spend the next few months working on details and introductions, and hopefully be able to move forward together in a way that offers increasing breadth and depth to our clients.”

Though some critics have wondered if a Boston firm and Dallas firm are culturally compatible, Clements is confident that move will go gracefully. With demand down and clients wishing to work with fewer firms, she feels the merger makes sense. That is why they are not doing a Swiss Verein deal, but, as she said, “This is a straight-up merger. We will be one firm.”

All that’s missing in the project is the final vote of the partners at each firm. After they have that, the merger is expected to be solidified in 2015.

Law firms in Dallas are hiring now at various practice areas. Visit here to browse latest attorney jobs in Dallas law firms only on LawCrossing.com.



 

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