Law Firm Merger Mania

  • Looking into the crystal ball.

    Biglaw, Blind Item, Dissolution, In-House Counsel, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers, Partner Issues

    Predictions — Based On Empirical Evidence — For 2014

    What does former Biglaw partner and current in-house columnist Mark Herrmann predict for 2014?

    3 Comments / / Jan 6, 2014 at 10:22 AM
  • handshake

    Biglaw, Blank Rome, Law Firm Mergers

    Blank Rome And Nixon Peabody May Be Eyeing Merger

    Will they or won’t they? Let’s discus the details…

    9 Comments / / Dec 30, 2013 at 11:46 AM
  • Limited discovery: NOW!

    Biglaw, Blank Rome, Contract Attorneys, Crime, Deaths, Document Review, Federal Judges, Gay Marriage, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Romance and Dating, SCOTUS, Sonia Sotomayor, State Judges, Supreme Court, Texas, Violence, You Go Girl

    Morning Docket: 12.30.13

    * Exciting news: Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be leading the countdown on the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square. She’ll be the first SCOTUS justice to perform the task. You go girl! [New York Times]

    * Blank Rome and Nixon Peabody are reportedly in merger talks, but one firm’s managing partner says he “talk[s] to firms all the time,” it’s no big deal. No word on what guys from his high school do. [Reuters]

    * Sorry, Quinn Emanuel, but this limited discovery thing is going to happen. Judge Ronnie Abrams recently slapped down the firm’s attempt to appeal her MTD denial in this contract attorney’s suit. [Am Law Daily]

    * A state court judge from Texas stands accused of strangling his girlfriend over the balcony of his apartment and threatening to “f**king kill [her].” Romance in Texas has certainly got some of that je ne sais quoi. [Dallas Morning News]

    * A legal soap opera? An ex-prosecutor whose relationship with a judge landed her lover in hot water was found dead in her home hours after a judicial misconduct ruling came down. R.I.P. [Reno Gazette-Journal]

    * Take a look back at the legal profession’s year that was: from the highest of highs in gay marriages to the lowest of lows in law school enrollment, 2013 was a year for the record books. [National Law Journal]

    2 Comments / / Dec 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM
  • broken heart small

    Biglaw, Law Firm Mergers, Partner Issues, Sonnenschein

    Another Biglaw Deal Bites The Dust: McKenna No Longer Longs For Dentons

    What led the McKenna Long partnership to reject the overtures of Dentons?

    4 Comments / / Nov 26, 2013 at 3:02 PM
  • law firm merger small

    Bar Exams, Biglaw, D.C. Circuit, Email Scandals, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Politics, SCOTUS, Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 11.25.13

    * In November, Supreme Court justices engaged in the “totally unnecessary” practice of releasing 41 pages of nondecision opinions. In all fairness, we can’t really blame them for enjoying hearing themselves speak. [National Law Journal]

    * These D.C. Circuit judges of differing political viewpoints “disagreed less than 3 percent of the time” over the course of two decades. Please, keep arguing about the court’s “ideological balance.” You’re accomplishing lots. [New York Times]

    * With more tie-ups than ever before and another record broken, 2013 is officially the year of full-blown law firm merger mania. Query how many more we’ll be able to add to the already huge list of 78 by the end of December. [Am Law Daily]

    * Speaking of which, Baker Hostetler is merging with Woodcock Washburn, an intellectual property firm with a name that sounds like the aftercare instructions for a painful sex toy injury. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * Of course a fired ADA’s scandalous emails landed on BuzzFeed. This is one more embarrassing chapter in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. [New York Times]

    * It’s amazing how things can change in a year. In 2012, New York bar pass rates for in-state schools fell. In 2013, they’re up — except for one school, which is way down. Which one? [New York Law Journal]

    13 Comments / / Nov 25, 2013 at 9:13 AM
  • Sorry, Patton Boggs...

    Abortion, Law Firm Mergers, Law Professors, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Midsize Firms / Regional Firms, Morning Docket, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Texas

    Morning Docket: 11.20.13

    * The right to choose… to drive out of state? SCOTUS rejected an application to block Texas from enforcing a law requiring abortion doctors to have privileges at nearby hospitals. [New York Times]

    * Patton Boggs should prepare for the day when Locke Lord is too busy washing its hair to go on a date. The would-be merger is just one of many “interesting opportunities” the firm is considering. [Am Law Daily]

    * In case you were wondering about the type of people who are accepted into Greenberg Traurig’s residency program, the recent law grad profiled in this article went to Nova Southeastern. [Sun Sentinel]

    * Law firm merger mania, mid-size Midwest edition: Chi-Town law firm Shefsky & Froelich is the just latest in a very well-known group to be gobbled up by a much larger firm, only to have its name completely disappear. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

    * When it comes to law faculty hiring, it doesn’t matter what color your skin is or what you’ve got between your legs, so long as your résumé is covered in Ivy and you’re dripping with prestige. [National Law Journal]

    * Ave Maria School of Law is in need of a new dean. It seems the man who created the school’s “Advanced Critical Thinking Department” engaged in deep thought before deciding to call it quits. [Naples Daily News]

    10 Comments / / Nov 20, 2013 at 9:07 AM
  • inequality RF

    Biglaw, In-House Counsel, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers

    The Degradation Of Law Firm Quality

    Many law firms are basically incapable of true quality control. Here’s why, according to in-house counsel columnist Mark Herrmann.

    25 Comments / / Oct 28, 2013 at 10:28 AM
  • law-firm-mergers RF

    Biglaw, Law Firm Mergers, Partner Issues, Sonnenschein

    Supersizing Biglaw: Welcome to McDentons

    Some thoughts from Anonymous Partner on the Dentons/McKenna Long talks and the rise of the global mega-firm.

    9 Comments / / Oct 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM
  • constitution we the people

    Abortion, Barack Obama, Biglaw, Celebrities, Constitutional Law, Federal Government, Law Firm Mergers, Money, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Real Estate, SCOTUS, Securities and Exchange Commission, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 10.10.13

    * “There are no magic bullets here.” Caught in a “trilemma,” President Obama is up against the wall and is running out of options. He soon might be forced to choose the least unconstitutional solution to the nation’s problems. [Bloomberg]

    * During the government shutdown, it certainly wouldn’t be worth it for furloughed employees to hire lawyers to fight their “essential” versus “non-essential” determinations — please, like they’ll be able to afford legal representation right now. [National Law Journal]

    * It seems some partners at both Dentons and McKenna Long & Aldridge aren’t fans of a possible tie-up, so they’re heading for the hills as fast as they can. Perhaps it simply wasn’t meant to be? [Am Law Daily]

    * It’s time for our favorite show, As the Weil Turns! Partners from various offices are departing for other Biglaw firms, and we can now confirm that Steven Peck is a new face at Proskauer. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    * We told you last week that Matthew Martens of Fabulous Fab fame would be leaving the SEC, but now we know where he’s landing. Congrats on your new home at WilmerHale. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * Ohio is the latest state to offer “hazy” abortion restrictions that skirt the very edge of Supreme Court jurisprudence in order to make women feel guilty about their own right to choose. [New York Times]

    * “Without makeup she looks like the Joker in Batman.” Joan Rivers is locked in a $15 million condo catfight with a Canadian socialite who isn’t afraid to pull punches. Meow! [New York Daily News]

    5 Comments / / Oct 10, 2013 at 9:08 AM
  • Supreme Court SCOTUS photo by David Lat

    Animal Law, Antonin Scalia, Biglaw, Federal Government, Federal Judges, Judicial Nominations, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Pets, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Trials

    Morning Docket: 10.08.13

    * Say what you will about Justice Scalia, but the man is hilarious — more funny than his four liberal colleagues combined, according to a statistical analysis of oral argument recordings. [New York Times]

    * The government shutdown is slowing down the judicial confirmation process, already famous for its speed and efficiency. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]

    * More about news for Steven Donziger in his long-running battle with Chevron. Maybe it’s time to surrender, Steve? I hear Ecuador is a great place to retire. [New York Law Journal]

    * Law firm merger mania continues, as Carlton Fields combines with Jorden Burt. [Carlton Fields (press release)]

    * Herbert Smith Freehills says “you’re hired” to Scott Balber, the lawyer for Donald Trump who got mocked by Bill Maher on national television. [The Lawyer]

    * You might see your dog as harmless and cuddly, but the law might see your dog as a weapon (and rightfully so, in my opinion). [New York Times via ABA Journal]

    * Congratulations to all the winners of the FT’s Innovative Lawyers awards. [Financial Times]

    * And congratulations to Heidi Wendel and Deirdre McEvoy, high-ranking government lawyers headed to Jones Day and Patterson Belknap, respectively. [New York Law Journal]

    * Today the Supreme Court will hear argument in McCutcheon v. FEC, a major campaign finance case that some are calling “the next Citizens United.” Check out an interview with one of the lawyers behind it, after the jump. [UCTV]

    Marty Lasden of California Lawyer magazine interviewed the severely conservative James Bopp Jr. for the “Legally Speaking” series (in which I previously participated). It appears this interview with Bopp took place before Bopp got bumped from the podium in favor of Erin Murphy, a young superstar of the Supreme Court bar.

    8 Comments / / Oct 8, 2013 at 9:18 AM
  • NCAA Football 14 USE

    Biglaw, Billable Hours, Health Care / Medicine, Job Searches, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Michael Jackson, Money, Morning Docket, Patents, Sports, Technology, Trials

    Morning Docket: 10.03.13

    * According to Altman Weil, law firm merger mania is on pace for record highs as firms desperately attempt to stave off financial problems by gobbling up smaller firms’ clients. [Am Law Daily]

    * The NCAA better watch its back: Jeffrey Kessler, the Winston & Strawn partner who helped bring free agency to the NFL, wants in on the potential case for unpaid college athletes. [Bloomberg]

    * Lawyers doing regulatory work are very afraid that the shutdown will decimate their fourth quarter billables because “[t]he longer it goes, the more problematic it will be.” Yay government. [Reuters]

    * GrayRobinson partner Philippe Devé is in need of a bone marrow transplant, and his firm is using its social media presence to crowdsource a donor. Will you lend a helping hand? [Daily Business Review]

    * UpCounsel has successfully raised $1.5 million in funding to beef up its international patent practice, proving the point that it costs a pretty penny to protect clients from the world’s patent trolls. [TechCrunch]

    * Law schools in New York State are feeling the pain of the drop in applications, and some are now willing admit that their graduates had to start “cannibalizing each other” in the job market. [New York Law Journal]

    * But really, so what if applications are down? Lots of law schools consider themselves lucky to be keeping the lights on with the assistance of generous alumni donations in the millions. [National Law Journal]

    * Another day, another “diploma mill.” Sorry to disappoint you, law students and alumni, but Charleston School of Law is moving forward with its plans to sell out to the InfiLaw System. [Post and Courier]

    * Who’s bad? Not AEG Live. A jury made up of people unable to answer yes or no questions during the reading of the verdict found that the concert promoter wasn’t liable in Michael Jackson’s death. [CNN]

    0 Comments / / Oct 3, 2013 at 9:03 AM
  • Networking

    Biglaw, Law Firm Mergers, Legal Ethics, Partner Issues, Partner Profits

    Be Afraid, Be Verein Afraid

    Are some law firms that use the verein structure running afoul of legal ethics rules against fee splitting?

    12 Comments / / Oct 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM
  • law-firm-mergers RF

    Biglaw, Law Firm Mergers, Partner Issues, Sonnenschein

    Law Firm Merger Mania: Dentons And McKenna Long Are Talking

    How big would the combined entity be? Very big….

    5 Comments / / Oct 1, 2013 at 1:37 PM
  • Amanda Knox

    Biglaw, Crime, David Boies, Federal Government, Gay Marriage, Health Care / Medicine, Law Firm Mergers, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Murder, Ted Olson

    Morning Docket: 10.01.13

    * “The multimillion dollar question is: Is it going to happen and for how long?” Surprisingly, health care attorneys from large firms are being quite blasé about the Congressional battle over Obamacare. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * The 2013 Global 100 is out, and with an 8.6 percent growth in revenue, DLA Piper was able to really show the world the benefits of churning that bill, baby! We’ll have more on this news later today. [American Lawyer]

    * This is getting exhausting: Dentons, the three-way merger product of SNR Denton (a merger product itself), Salans, and Fraser Milner Casgrain, is in talks with McKenna Long & Aldridge for yet another merger. [Am Law Daily]

    * The director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s enforcement unit will be stepping down to spend time more with family. The countdown until he returns to Skadden Arps starts now. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * Ted Olson and David Boies, perhaps more commonly known these days as the gay marriage dream team, will be working together to challenge Virginia’s ban on marriage equality. [National Law Journal]

    * Should law school be two years long? Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency (3 points) is beating the pants off Northwestern’s dean (-4 points) in this debate. [Debate Club / U.S. News & World Report]

    * If you’re still considering applying for law school despite all of the warnings seen here and elsewhere, then you’ll probably want to follow this advice. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    * The Italian Court of Appeal is retrying Amanda Knox of a crime she’s already been convicted and acquitted of, and the chances she’ll be extradited if convicted again are slim to none. Buon lavoro. [CNN]

    3 Comments / / Oct 1, 2013 at 9:15 AM
  • gradenfreude

    Akin Gump, Biglaw, Federal Judges, Law Firm Mergers, Money, Morning Docket, Student Loans, Women's Issues

    Morning Docket: 09.23.13

    * Will adjudicate for food? With a little more than one week until the end of the fiscal year, the federal judiciary is facing down a “worst-case scenario” with respect to its budget. [National Law Journal (sub. req.)]

    * An unremarkable percentage of firms are led by women lawyers, but Kim Koopersmith of Akin Gump awaits a day when being a first woman in law won’t be “newsworthy.” [Capital Business / Washington Post]

    * Law firm merger mania, Heartland edition: Stinson Morrison Hecker did the do-si-do with Leonard Street & Deinard and will promenade home as Stinson Leonard Street in January. [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * Hearts are breaking on either side of the nationwide same-sex marriage debate, and county clerks are bearing the brunt of all the complaints. When will all states “bit[e] the bullet” and legalize it? [Reuters]

    * “The last time I went into court, I was wearing something that I got at Goodwill.” It turns out even geniuses are stupid enough to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in law school debt. [Los Angeles Times]

    2 Comments / / Sep 23, 2013 at 9:10 AM
  • Hope the football makes up for the unemployment.

    Alston & Bird, Biglaw, Celebrities, Facebook, Federal Judges, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Musical Chairs, Police, Privacy, Racism, Ted Frank

    Morning Docket: 08.13.13

    * In the latest round of musical chairs, Skadden Arps managed to scoop up products liability queen and top woman litigator Lisa Gilford from Alston & Bird. Congratulations! [The Recorder (sub. req.)]

    * Is merger mania a thing of the past? With pocketbooks tighter than ever, “pseudo-mergers” are starting to look great. No one will complain about more lawyers with less liability. [Legal Intelligencer]

    * Man, it’d be great if you could represent plaintiffs in a class action suit and keep all of the settlement funds without having to pay your clients a cent. Oh wait, you can actually do that? [New York Times]

    * “It shows he’s adventuresome and he’s got good taste.” Peter Zimroth, the lawyer appointed to oversee the reform of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies, married very, very well. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

    * The ABA approved Texas A&M’s acquisition of Texas Wesleyan’s law school. Hello to the Texas A&M Johnny Football School of Law! We hope to see the Heisman of employment stats. [National Law Journal]

    * A judge says the woman who sued Paula Deen for racial discrimination was nothing more than an “accidental victim.” And like that, her race-based claims have melted away like butter, y’all. [ABC News]

    3 Comments / / Aug 13, 2013 at 9:14 AM
  • Sarah Jones

    Akin Gump, Biglaw, D.C. Circuit, Defamation, Department of Justice, Insurance, Job Searches, Law Firm Mergers, Morning Docket, Plaintiffs Firms

    Morning Docket: 07.09.13

    * Akin Gump partner Patricia Millett is willing to take a whopping pay cut to serve on the D.C. Circuit — from $1MM to $184K — and for that alone she should be confirmed ASAP. [National Law Journal]

    * With the number of law firm mergers in the last six months alone, we’re on a “potentially record-setting pace” for 2013. Hey, look at it this way: it’s cheaper than hiring and firing laterals. [Am Law Daily]

    * Three years later, the epic litigation between Debevoise & Plimpton and a former client continues to rage on. Now, allegations are being tossed around about a partner’s behavior. [New York Law Journal]

    * According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June, the legal industry lost more jobs than it has in a single month since June 2011. Congrats, Class of 2013! welcome to the real world. [Am Law Daily]

    * In its defense, Standard & Poor’s claims its ratings were puffery, and that no reasonable investor would rely on them. Aww, poor widdle “sophisticated consumers of [investment information].” [Bloomberg]

    * For those of you practicing personal injury law in New York, this case is a bombshell. If you want to put the whole insurance industry on trial, follow the action here. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

    * Sarah Jones, the ex-cheerleader who sued TheDirty.com for defamation, was back in federal court yesterday for the beginning of her case’s retrial. What a way to start an engagement. [ABC News]

    2 Comments / / Jul 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM
  • quiet shush LF