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IndyBar: US Law Firms on Pace for Record Year

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There were 18 law firm mergers and acquisitions announced in the United States in the second quarter of 2013, according to Altman Weil MergerLine. At the mid-year point, there have been 39 total mergers, putting 2013 on a potentially record–setting pace.

“The largest annual total for US law firm mergers was 70 in 2008,” according to Altman Weil principal Ward Bower. “If the pace continues, it looks like 2013 will surpass that record.”

The largest deal announced in the second quarter of 2013 was the combination of Husch Blackwell, a 543-lawyer law firm headquartered in St. Louis, and Brown McCarroll, a 65-lawyer Texas firm. Chicago-based global law firm Baker & McKenzie announced the only cross-border deal of the second quarter, acquiring 45-lawyer Habib Al Mulla in Dubai.

In other relatively sizeable combinations, 300-lawyer, Southern regional law firm Adams and Reese acquired Ellis Lawhorne, a 23-lawyer firm in Columbia, South Carolina; and 560-lawyer, Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild added 16 lawyers in Denver with the acquisition of Lottner Rubin Fishman Saul.

The other 14 deals announced in April, May and June 2013 were acquisitions of small law firms with 10 lawyers or fewer.

“Typically, the majority of law firm combinations are acquisitions of small law firms, because subsequent integration is so much easier for a dominant acquirer,” said Bower.

In addition to the April, May and June law firm combinations, there were four deals announced at the end of last year that were finalized in the second quarter of 2013.

In April, SNR Denton concluded two mergers with Paris-based law firm Salans and with Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain to create a new 2,500-lawyer, global firm renamed Dentons. In June, U.K.-based Norton Rose finalized its combination with 850-lawyer Fulbright & Jaworski, establishing a major U.S. presence through the merger.

The complete list of law firm mergers and acquisitions announced to date in 2013 as well as an archive from prior years and a six-year trend summary are available online at www.altmanweil.com/MergerLine.•

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  1. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

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  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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