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IBA: Slow Pace of Law Firm Mergers Continues

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There were eight new law firm combinations announced in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2010 according to Altman Weil MergerLine, continuing the slow down of mergers from 2009. However, notably one of those mergers involved Indianapolis law firm Dann Pecar Newman & Kleiman.

“Although we’re seeing a lot more interest in mergers and acquisitions behind the scenes this year, it will take some time for law firms to shift gears from the internal crisis management focus of 2009 back to an outwardly facing, strategic stance,” said Altman Weil principal Tom Clay.  “There will be a ramp-up period in the next few quarters before we see the pace of deal-making increase significantly.”

Of the eight law firm combinations announced so far in 2010, all involved the acquisition of firms with fewer than 50 lawyers, and five were acquisitions of firms with under ten lawyers. Benesch Friedlander, a 145-lawyer firm based in Cleveland, acquired Dann Pecar, a 26-lawyer Indianapolis law firm. 

Two were combinations of Midwestern firms; two were combinations of firms in the Southern US, and one deal was multi-regional, between a Middle-Atlantic firm and a New England firm.•

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