Biglaw, Law Firm Mergers, Locke Lord, Partner Issues, Patton Boggs

Patton Boggs and Locke Lord May Be Eyeing Merger

As reported in Morning Docket, it looks like there’s another big merger in the offing. While it might not create a new top 10 mega-firm like the proposed Pillsbury and Orrick union, if the rumored merger talks between Patton Boggs and Locke Lord come to fruition, it would join one of the major players in energy law with one of the most influential lobbying shops in D.C.

Sounds like a deal rife with “synergy” and all those other corporate buzzwords.

And this may not be the only deal Patton Boggs is looking at….

Once again, Casey Sullivan of Reuters has the deets:

Two former Patton Boggs partners told Reuters the Washington firm, with nearly 500 lawyers and public policy advisers, is in merger discussions with Locke Lord of Dallas, which has more than 650 lawyers and consultants. A third source, who has direct knowledge of the matter, would not confirm or deny that the other party was Locke Lord.

Patton Boggs said in a statement on Sunday that all law firms that recognize the rapidly changing landscape should be looking for ways to improve their platform for their partners and to better serve their clients.

“If we find a combination that accomplishes these goals, we would have an announcement if and when we pursue it,” it said.

Locke Lord said on Sunday it “never affirms or denies any speculation about…potential mergers.”

“In line with our strategic plan, we regularly look at growth opportunities that would benefit our firm and our clients, but we do not comment one way or the other,” a statement from the firm said.

The partners, who left Patton Boggs earlier this year, said they had knowledge of the merger discussions from lawyers inside the firm. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.

It’s fitting that a merger ensconced in the D.C. political scene is dripping with classic “non-denial denials.” It’s also a testament to the troubled year Patton Boggs has suffered through that enough partners have left this year that two former partners with knowledge of the deal can pull the ersatz Deep Throat thing and enjoy anonymity.

Patton Boggs has graced the pages of ATL a lot this year with layoffs, a 15 percent decline in revenue, and some of the aforementioned lateral leakage this year after some litigation woes, making a merger with a strong partner welcome news. And for those worried about redundancies, of the 23 offices between the two firms, there are only three overlapping locations (Washington, New York, and Dallas), which should keep most jobs safe.

But Locke Lord may not be the only suitor for Patton Boggs:

Separately, Patton Boggs is also in merger talks with a law firm outside the United States, the partners said, although they had not been told its identity.

Anyone have any further intel on this? You know the drill: please send your tips to us directly via email or text (646-820-8477). Thanks.

Exclusive: Washington lobbying law firm in merger talks – sources [Reuters]

Earlier: Morning Docket: 10.28.13
Proposed Merger To Create New Top 10 U.S. Law Firm In The Making
Litigation Problems at Patton Boggs Lead To Lateral Leakage

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