Mergers down, but maybe not for long

January 5, 2011
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Altman Weil has released its annual roundup of law firm mergers for 2010, and despite the low number, the company believes more firms will merge this year.

There were just 39 law firm mergers or acquisitions announced in 2010, down from 53 in 2009 and 70 in 2008. According to Altman Weil’s stats, Indiana had only one merger – Dann Pecar Newman & Kleiman joined forces with Cleveland law firm Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff in March.

In 2009, Barnes & Thornburg acquired the Minneapolis firm Parsinen Law Firm, and Cleveland firm Hahn Loeser & Parks announced it was merging with Galbraith Associates in Indianapolis.

We saw a bit of merger mania in 2008 with four firms with ties to Indiana making moves – Bingham McHale merged with Indianapolis firm McTurnan & Turner; the name Locke Reynolds disappeared as it merged with Cincinnati-based firm Frost Brown Todd, as did Sommer Barnard as it merged with Taft Stettinius & Hollister, which is also based in Cincinnati. Two Indiana firms combined forces – Miner Lemon & Walston in Warsaw and the Stallwood Law Office in Indianapolis.

Altman Weil believes mergers will pick up this year because of the upswing in activity during the fourth quarter in 2010.

Of course, we hear the occasional grumblings of merger rumors involving Indiana firms, but no one will talk about them or the rumors don’t materialize. Care to make a prediction as to if, and how many, mergers we’ll see this year?


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