Back at the beginning of the legal recession, when Heller and Thelen were collapsing, there was talk that a number of firms would either have to fold or engage in mega-mergers.
For the most part, that hasn’t happened. But today, Legal Week is reporting that Hogan & Hartson and London-based Lovells are at least talking about merging:
Lovells and Hogan & Hartson are in the early stages of merger talks, Legal Week can reveal, with the firms’ management teams currently assessing the case for a transformative union.
Lovells is to discuss the proposed tie-up with the top 25 US law firm at a meeting of its international executive on 28 October. A deal would create a top 10 global practice in revenue terms.
With firms of this size, one imagines that merger talks will be complicated. And there is a lot that will have to happen for these firms to go from talking to combining. But if all the pitfalls are avoided, how big of a firm could we be looking at?
Details after the jump.
If these merger talks become more than just talk, the combined firm would be huge:
A union between the two firms would create a 2,500-lawyer practice with revenues of around $1.9bn (£1.2bn) according to figures from the latest Global 100 rankings from The American Lawyer and Legal Week.
Any suggestions for what a post-merger entity should be called? Feel free to toss out ideas in the comments.
But there is a long way to go. Legal Week points out some recent history regarding international liaisons:
Despite initial enthusiasm for the deal, both firms will be aware that US/UK mergers are notoriously difficult to secure given the challenge of marrying differing partner compensation and accounting models. The handful of transatlantic deals that have so far taken place in the legal sector have been effective takeovers rather than mergers of comparable practices.
Whether this turns into a new law firm or just a good title for a romantic comedy, it should be interesting.
Lovells and Hogan & Hartson size up high-stakes transatlantic merger [Legal Week]
Earlier: Law Firm Merger Mania: Bingham McCutchen Acquires McKee Nelson