Hildebrandt Institute

Law Firm Mergers Rebounded Strongly in 2011

Law firm mergers jumped by 67 percent in 2011, and are expected to rise again in 2012, according to the Hildebrandt Institute’s MergerWatch. Law firm mergers are already off to a strong start for the new year. The Hildebrandt Institute tracked 45 completed law firm mergers that involved U.S. firms in 2011.

Here are some key stats:

  • The largest merger in 2011 between two U.S.-based firms was the combination of Kilpatrick Stockton with Townsend Townsend and Crew to create Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.
  • There have been 11 U.S. mergers announced so far in 2012, which is almost double the number (6) announced at this point a year ago.
  • Mergers outside the U.S. jumped to 54 in 2011 compared to the 44 tracked in 2010, and 48 in 2009.

Learn more about law firm mergers in the press release and on the Hildebrandt Institute Blog.

MergerWatch: Law Firm Mergers Rise in Third Quarter

In early September we posted a story on the uptick in law firm mergers. We promised to provide a full account for the third quarter at a later date, and today we can report that the Hildebrandt Institute tracked nine completed mergers involving U.S. firms in the third quarter of 2011. This brings the total for completed mergers in the first three-quarters of the year to 31.  This is a 55 percent increase from the 20 mergers completed in the first three-quarters of 2010.  However, merger activity still lags behind 2009, which saw 49 completed mergers in the same time period. The trends indicate that merger activity in the legal market is picking up, but many firms remain somewhat cautious about large combinations.

The largest U.S. mergers in the third quarter were the combinations of McKool Smith with Hennigan Dorman, and Strasburger & Price with Oppenheimer, Blend, Harrison and Tate.  Additional mergers of note in the third quarter included:  LeClairRyan with Biedermann, Reif, Hoenig & Ruff; McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter with Kalison, McBirde, Jackson & Robertson; and Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference with Anslow + Jaclin.  The mergers covered a wide variety of headquarters locations, including Texas (one merger apiece in Houston and San Antonio); California (two mergers in Los Angeles); New York; Boston; New Jersey (two mergers); and Washington, DC.

In addition, six combinations were announced to become effective at a later date, including four significant tie-ups:  (more…)