US firms losing merger fever

January 23, 2008 Merger and lateral activity among US law firms slowed slightly in 2007 but despite the darkening financial horizon, many in the industry expect the attorney shuffle to retain energy in 2008, writes the National Law Journal.

According to consultancy group Hildebrandt International, mergers involving US law firms totaled 55 in 2007 - comprising 23 in the first quarter, 14 in the second quarter, 11 in the third quarter and just seven in the fourth quarter.

Notable tie-ups in 2007 included the deals that created Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis and Dewey & LeBoeuf. Reed Smith tied up with City firm Richards Butler, while the expansive US national also swallowed Chicago's Sachnoff & Weaver in 2007.

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