High merger activity between law firms is set to continue

September 7, 2011 Interesting article here in the Wall Street Journal, which anticipates more merger activity for law firms in the near future. According to reports, firms are now moving out of survival mode and are investigating options for strategic growth.

The article cites recent merger activity: Litigation firms McKool Smith in Dallas and Hennigan Dorman in Los Angeles are merging, effective 12 September, to create a firm with a headcount of 170 lawyers with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. And earlier this week Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre, a 300-lawyer New Orleans firm, announced it was merging with a 70-attorney firm in Mississippi.

It is illuminating to note that there were 28 law firm mergers in the first half of 2011, up 47% from the first half of 2010. Ward Bower, a principal at legal management consulting firm Altman Weil, said that mergers have been most common small to midsize firms, and that the trend is likely to continue throughout the year: “Firms are looking to increase their market share, and the fastest way to do that is through merger.”

Read more at blogs.wsj.com.

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