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Merger Discussions between Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth
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Hunton & Williams

Summary: Law firms Hunton & Williams and Andrew Kurth Kenyon are rumored to be deep in merger discussions.

Hunton & Williams is in the midst of merger talks with Andrews Kurth Kenyon, according to two sources who talked to the New York Law Journal. It is not known how far along the talks may be, a merger vote will likely take place soon.

  
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Hunton has entered into merger talks with other firms as well as Andrews Kurth. Hunton was once in talks with Addleshaw Goddard. Andrews Kurth has long been looking for another firm to pick up even after taking on Intellectual Property boutique Kenyon & Kenyon a year ago.

Andrews Kurth has around 400 lawyers. Hunton has 660 lawyers. Both have offices in London, of which Hunton significantly downsized their London office six years ago when several corporate partners left. Hunton has 20 lawyers working in their office, seven of which are partners. The office focuses on data protection and banking and finance.

Andrews Kurth has arbitration partner Melanie Willems leading a team of four partners in their London office. Willems joined the firm from Chadbourne & Parke in 2013.

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Many of the key financial metrics at Hunton and Andrews Kurth are very similar. The profits per equity partner at Andrews Kurth is $1.26 million and $1.1 million at Hunton. Revenue per lawyer at Andrews Kurth is $820,000 and $820,000 at Hunton. Hunton is ranked 63rd among recent Am Law 100 rankings in revenue at $541 million. Andrews Kurth is ranked at 111th at $289 million. Their revenue fell 2.7 percent while Hunton’s rose 2.5 percent.

Both firms have had to deal with a number of partner defections during the past year. A team of lawyers, including five partners, left Hunton in June. They joined Shearman & Sterling in Washington D.C.



Mergers continue to be on the rise, with Altman Weil’s last report showing an increase in mergers and acquisitions across the country. A recent merger announcement came from Bose McKinney & Evans LLP with Roberge Law, a Carmel-based firm.

Altman Weil reports a total of 76 mergers this year, with 24 in the third quarter. Those acquisitions involving law firms with 20 or fewer lawyers accounted for 71 percent of the combinations in the third quarter. The Midwest and Western U.S. showed the most mergers in smaller firms. California has been the focus of mergers and acquisitions for large and small firms. Altman Weil principal Eric Seeger said, “Seventy-six law firm mergers and acquisitions is the largest number ever recorded for the first three quarters of the year. I won’t be surprised if we see 100 deals by year end, easily beating the prior benchmark high of 91 in 2015.”

Should Hunton and Andrews Kurth decide to merge, an official announcement would likely be soon.

Do you agree with Eric Seeger’s prediction of there being 100 mergers by the end of the year? Share your comments with us in the comments below.

To learn more about recent mergers and acquisitions and previous Altman Weil reports, read these articles:

Photo: linkedin.com



 

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