Last week we started to hear rumors of a possible merger between Akin Gump and Orrick. One tipster offered this unenthusiastic take: “Suddenly, the firm that is known for professionalism and California-style collegiality courts the firm whose softball team is named ‘The Cheatahs?'”

Meow! Well, it appears that the rumors are true. Spokespersons for each firm just confirmed to Am Law Daily and the WSJ Law Blog that Orrick and Akin are in “preliminary,” “exploratory” discussions about a merger.

What would a combined firm look like?

Zach Lowe of Am Law Daily does the math:

The combined firm would have about 1,800 lawyers, according to our most recent Am Law 100 numbers. Akin Gump had a slightly higher profits per partner of $1.455 million in 2009 compared to a PPP figure of $1.36 million for Orrick.

That’s actually not a huge difference, so financially the fit seems decent.

In terms of geographical reach, you can compare the firm’s offices here (Akin Gump) and here (Orrick). Orrick has a bigger global footprint and strong West Coast presence, while Akin Gump has more East Coast outposts.

Thinking of working at either firm? The firm’s Career Center profiles are available here (Akin Gump) and here (Orrick).

Readers: any thoughts on a possible combination between Orrick and Akin Gump? Do you see it as a promising union? Or do you take a dimmer view (a la John Quinn’s take on a possible Squire Sanders / Hammonds merger)?

Feel free to discuss in the comments. If you have particularly juicy tidbits, please send them to us directly (via any number of communication methods). Thanks.

BREAKING: Orrick-Akin the Next Mega-Firm? [Am Law Daily]
Orrick, Akin Gump in Merger Talks [WSJ Law Blog]


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