As far as law firm mergers are concerned, 2023 is off to an action-packed start.
According to a recently released report from legal consultancy Fairfax Associates, there were as many large law firm mergers completed during this year’s first quarter than in all of 2022 combined. Fairfax characterizes “large mergers” as those where both law firms have at least 100 lawyers each. Last year, the only large law firm mergers completed were between Arent Fox and Schiff Hardin, and Taft Stettinius & Hollister and Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss.
Reuters has the details on the large law firm mergers that have taken place in 2023 thus far:
So far this year 1,400-lawyer Holland & Knight merged with 257-lawyer Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis in March, and 1,050-lawyer Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe combined with 100-lawyer Buckley in February. …
Smith, Gambrell & Russell, a 285-lawyer firm, also just completed a merger with 110-lawyer firm Freeborn & Peters. That deal was set to close March 1 during the first quarter, but the firms said in a Monday statement they completed the combination April 1.
The merger between large Southeastern firms Maynard Cooper & Gale and Nexsen Pruet just missed the first quarter cutoff, as the firms combined on April 1 to create Maynard Nexsen.
Not to be forgotten, of course, are the proposed large law firm mergers that flopped in the first quarter. Those include failed talks between Shearman & Sterling and Hogan Lovells, as well as failed talks between Womble Bond Dickinson and UK firm BDB Pitmans.
Which Biglaw firms will be the next to combine? We can’t wait to see if the rest of the year is as successful for mergers as the first quarter was.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.