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Morgan Lewis – Bingham Merger is Sealed
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the merger between Morgan and Bingham has been finalized

Summary: The merger between Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Bingham McCutchen has been finalized.

As of Monday, it’s final: Morgan Lewis & Bockius L.L.P., the Philadelphia based colossus previously sporting 1,375 lawyers, making them one of largest in the U.S., will now house upwards to 2,000 total, after closing the deal on its acquisition of Bingham McCutchen, the Boston-based firm that after over a century of history will now cease to exist.

  
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It took one foul year to do Bingham in, the tumultuous 2013 that saw droves of lawyers bale on the company, priming them to seek out a larger firm to soften their woes and take them on board. Three quarters of the remaining lawyers at Bingham are joining Morgan Lewis, rendering them the firm with the most lawyers within America, and one of the top five internationally, boasting further of a $2 billion yearly revenue.

“Now we really have greater strength, a deeper bench,” said Jami Wintz McKeon of Morgan Lewis. “We want to be the outside firm that you can turn to for all of the things that are important to corporate America. Having that added capacity will benefit our existing clients and that was one of the things that drove this.”

Though, quite notably, longstanding Bingham chairman Jay Zimmerman, who bolstered Bingham for decades with his strategies for growth, will not join the new firm, other partners are enthusiastic about the transition, with Steve Browne, the managing partner of Bingham, saying “In Morgan, we have found the perfect new home. We already serve many of the same clients, but we will not have the resources to serve them in new ways and new markets.”

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Morgan, by taking on the slew of lawyers, has the advantage of grabbing certain talent in one broad stroke, a happier alternative than hiring lawyers one-by-one, but then again they are taking on some of the liability of Bingham’s previous work, and of course there is the difficulty of braiding cultures, as the influx of lawyers are normalized into the new environment.

This will require some technicalities on what offices will be used in the cities where there is overlap, such as Washington D.C., New York City, and Boston. There is also the conundrum of what to do with the $22.5 million back-office Bingham invested in last year for Lexington, Ky. Though some staff lawyers seem to have transitioned, the future of 170 non-lawyers there has not yet been determined.



“We are delighted that our new colleagues have today joined our efforts to create a new global powerhouse,” said McKeon – and in the end this means a lot of excitement for all involved.



 

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