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Law Firm Mergers & Acquisitions on Record Pace
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Mergers & Acquisitions

Summary: More law firms have been merging or acquiring other law firms, usually on a smaller scale although this year has seen some of the biggest mergers.

In the first six months, there have been 48 announced law firm mergers and acquisitions in the United States, 19 of which were in the second quarter. This half year number is the highest in the nine years that the legal consulting firm out of Pennsylvania, Altman Weil Inc. has been keeping track.


Of the 19 second quarter deals, 15 of them were acquisitions of law firms with less than 20 lawyers. The regions of the deals were spread out over the country. The driving force for most mergers and acquisitions is increasing profit growth, not headcount.

The first event of the year occurred on January 2nd when two Northeast Ohio firms merged. Day Ketterer in Canton merged with Andrews & Wyatt in Hudson. Day Ketterer had 42 attorneys and Andrews & Wyatt had five attorneys when they merged.

The largest merger has been between the global law firm Dentons and McKenna Long & Aldridge in Atlanta. Their merger was finalized on July 1st. By the time the law firms merged, McKenna Long was slightly over 300 lawyers since 100 had left since the announcement of the merger in April.

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Another large merger that has not been finalized is between Dentons and Dacheng, a Chinese law firm. Once the merger is complete, Dentons will have over 6,000 lawyers, making them the largest global firm.




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