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Record-breaking year for law firm mergers

Jennifer Nelson
November 25, 2013
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This summer, Altman Weil Inc. predicted 2013 could be a record year for law firm mergers and acquisitions. Turns out, the legal consulting company was correct: 78 law firm mergers have occurred this year, taking down the previous record of 70 mergers and acquisitions in one year.

In 2008, there were 70 mergers among U.S. law firms. In July, Altman Weil MergerLine suggested, based on the numbers at the mid-year point, 2013 could be one for the record books.

Through the third quarter of 2013, 58 law firm combinations had been announced. Since Oct. 1, 20 more have occurred, including the merger Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP announced last week with Chicago firm Shefsky & Froelich. That combination will bring Taft to nearly 400 attorneys firm-wide, according to Robert J. Hicks, partner-in-charge in Taft’s Indianapolis office.

In addition to Taft, four other firms with Indiana ties have combined this year. In June, Lorch and Naville and Ward King Agnew in New Albany combined to create a 14-attorney firm of Lorch Naville Ward LLC. In September, Fort Wayne firm Federoff Kuchmay LLP merged with Carson Boxberger LLP, upping the total of attorneys at Carson Boxberger to 27.

Mergers this year have ranged from firms as small as four and two attorneys combining to as large as Chicago-based Baker & McKenzie, with 4,000 attorneys, merging with a Dubai, United Arab Emirates firm with 45 attorneys.
 

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