Law Firm Mergers

Since we last checked in on him on Twitter, John Quinn — founding partner of litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel, and one of the nation’s ‘s top business litigators — has gained about 200 followers. And if he keeps tweeting in such insightful, funny, and brutally candid fashion, his following — right now he’s at 665 followers — will only grow.

Check out his latest tweet, which is a bit… impolitic….

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Back in May, we reported on merger rumors involving Kilpatrick Stockton and Townsend and Townsend and Crew. As it turns out, the firms were in talks — but now those talks have fallen apart.

As the two firms told the Daily Journal, the talks were called off because of a familiar reason: potential client conflicts. According to a statement issued by Kilpatrick’s co-managing partner, William Dorris, “We explored merger discussions with our friends at Townsend, but clients always come first. When client-related conflicts could not be resolved, we could not proceed further.”

What made the merger alluring initially?

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Earlier this month, we mentioned the possibility of a merger between Mayer Brown and the U.K.-headquartered firm of Simmons & Simmons. Today we learn that the merger won’t be happening. Legal Week reports:

Simmons & Simmons and Mayer Brown have called off merger talks, the two firms have confirmed in a joint press statement sent today (29 June). The statement confirmed that the two firms have held preliminary talks about a potential merger but have jointly decided not to go through with a combination.

So what are the reasons behind termination of the talks?

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First Hogan & Hartson merged with Lovells. Then Sonnenschein merged with Denton Wilde. Now comes news that Mayer Brown is looking for a transatlantic partner — again. (Mayer previously merged with London-based Rowe & Maw.)

The Lawyer reports:

Mayer Brown and Simmons & Simmons have resumed merger talks, with both firms’ management set to brief their respective partnerships next week on the merits of a potential union.

Will this go merger go through? You know what they say: one is an accident, two is a trend, three is a problem…

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Now that both partnerships have voted, the merger between Sonnenschein and Denton Wilde is a done deal. But the ride between now and the effective merger date of September 30th could still be bumpy.

The first bump is coming from Thacher Proffitt & Wood. As TPW was dissolving, Sonnenschein scooped up 100 lawyers from Thacher Proffitt. The partners involved received significant compensation packages.

According to The Lawyer, those well-compensated partners are now thinking of leaving Sonnenschein, before the merger…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Ghosts of Thacher Proffitt Get SNR Denton Off on a Sour Note”

A few weeks ago, news broke that Sonnenschein would merge with the U.K.-based firm of Denton Wilde. Today the firms announced that partners on both sides of the Atlantic unanimously voted in favor of the merger. From the Sonnenschein press release:

The partnerships of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (SNR) and Denton Wilde Sapte LLP (Denton) today voted in favor of combining to form SNR Denton. Launching on September 30, 2010, SNR Denton will have more than 1,400 lawyers and professionals in 18 countries, forming a top 25 legal services provider worldwide by number of lawyers and professionals. SNR Chairman Elliott Portnoy and Denton CEO Howard Morris will serve as co-CEOs of SNR Denton.

The merger will become official on September 30th.

Congratulations to SNR-Denton partners, associates, and other employees. Let’s hope there are no redundancy layoffs on either side of the ocean.

Earlier: Law Firm Merger Mania: Sonnenschein to Merge with Denton Wilde

Sonnenschein isn’t going to let the recession slow down its expansion. Back during the heart of the recession, Sonnenschein saved around 100 lawyers from the sinking Thacher Proffitt.

Today brings news that Sonnenschein has expanded its reach across the Atlantic Ocean. The firm has proposed a merger with U.K.-based Denton Wilde, to form SNR Denton. From the new firm’s press release:

SNR Denton would be a top 25 law firm worldwide by size, with approximately 1,400 lawyers and fee earners on four continents, a presence in 18 countries, and its two largest offices in London and New York…

SNR Chairman Elliott Portnoy, who will become co-CEO of SNR Denton, said: “This combination is the next step in our vision to create an elite, client-focused international firm that is about one thing – quality. Both firms have long enjoyed reputations as being world class, and now together we’ll have the assets and professional resources to carry that forward to new sectors, new practices, and new markets. As one firm, we will be able to serve our clients better.”

‘Tis the season for transatlantic mergers? The Sonnenschein news comes on the heels of Ho-Love (a.k.a. Hogan Lovells) beginning operations…

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One merger is an accident. Two mergers … well, that could be a trend.

The merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells is in the books. The new firm is up and running, and it’s already saying goodbye to people. The Blog of the Legal Times reports that Hogan Lovells had some departures over the weekend:

A six-lawyer insurance litigation group left Hogan to launch a D.C. office for Hartford, Conn.-based Shipman & Goodwin. James Ruggeri, who leads the group, said that the move was made because of conflicts created by the merger for his group’s chief client, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Ruggeri serves as The Hartford’s national counsel for complex insurance coverage matters. He had been at Hogan since 1991.

Hogan Lovells has gotten a lot of attention in part because it is the highest-profile law firm merger to take place after the recession fully took hold.

But over the weekend, a tipster reported that there might be another notable merger on the horizon. Our source tells us that Townsend and Townsend and Crew and Kilpatrick Stockton are in talks…

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Not everybody from Lovells will be jumping on the Ho-Love bandwagon this May. Legal Week reports that Lovells will close its Chicago office:

Lovells is set to shut down its Chicago office by the end of October following a strategic and financial review of its business.

The office, which has seven partners and 15 fee earners, has been under review since before the firm’s merger talks with Hogan & Hartson began.

Not everybody can benefit from the something about synergy upside of the merger. But will these Chicago castoffs find new homes?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Layoff Watch: Lovells Makes Cuts Ahead of May Merger”

law firm merger small.jpgLast night partners at Hogan & Hartson and partners at Lovells voted on the proposed merger between the two firms. According to sources, Ho-Love will be coming to an office building near you.
Here’s the report on the partner vote, from a Lovells source:

Late last night, the voting closed on our proposed merger with Hogan & Hartson. We have also heard from Warren Gorrell, Chairman of Hogan & Hartson, on the outcome of their vote.
We are delighted to report that the respective resolutions at both firms were passed and, as a result, we will be combining with Hogan & Hartson with effect from 1 May 2010.

Bang. Mega-transatlantic mergers are back.
Read the full memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Hogan and Lovells Merger: All Systems Go”

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