Eighty-two law firm combinations were announced last year in the United States, a 7 percent decline from 2013’s 88 mergers, according to Altman Weil Inc.
The company has been compiling data on mergers for eight years and noted 2013 was the highest number of mergers and combinations it had seen. The 82 law firm combinations announced last year is the second-highest annual total recorded by MergerLine.
“We expect this pace of law firm combinations to continue into 2015,” says Altman Weil principal Tom Clay. “Whether a firm is proactively buying into a hot geographic market or a new practice area or defensively consolidating against the threat of new competition, a strategic combination can offer a good solution.”
Of the 82 combinations, 59 percent were acquisitions of firms with between two and five lawyers. Another 28 percent of the acquisitions were of firms with between six and 20 attorneys. Indiana’s only reported combination by MergerLine fell into this category: Charleston, West Virginia, firm Jackson Kelly combined with Rudolph Fine Porter & Johnson in Evansville. The Indiana firm’s 20 attorneys began practicing under the Jackson Kelly name in the summer.
More information on the 2014 mergers and acquisitions can be found at http://www.altmanweil.com/MergerLine/.