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The big law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has seen its share of merger discussions fizzle out in recent years. Add its talks with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to the list.

Less than a week after confirming that they were in preliminary discussions to merge, Orrick and Akin Gump released a joint statement Monday morning announcing that their brief flirtation has already petered out.  The decision to end their talks was described as a mutual one.

“The firms appreciated the opportunity to have the discussions, which confirmed their mutual respect for one another,” the statement said. “However, the firms have determined not to proceed.”

Last week, consultants who specialize in law-firm mergers described the fit between Orrick and Akin Gump as a good one, considering they did not overlap much in terms of offices or strong practice areas.  Together, the firms would have employed nearly 1,900 lawyers with combined revenues in excess of $1.5 billion.

But the breakdown in talks is not particularly surprising, given how delicate merger discussions between big law firms tend to be. As The American Lawyer has pointed out, Orrick is something of a model for aborted merger talks, with its unsuccessful deal with what was then Dewey Ballantine in 2007 standing out as the most notable example.

Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith, which has 150 lawyers in Philadelphia, is in early merger discussions with Dallas-based law firm Thompson & Knight, both firms confirmed Friday to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

"We are in preliminary merger discussions with Texas-based Thompson & Knight," said Reed Smith Managing Partner Greg Jordan in an e-mail. “The discussions are preliminary and no final agreement or partner vote has been reached or taken.”

Reed Smith has more than 1,500 lawyers, while Thompson & Knight has about 350 lawyers with a focus on the energy industry, including oil and gas, Jordan said.

Becky Jackson, chief client services officer at Thompson & Knight, offered the following statement in an e-mail:

“In today’s legal environment, Thompson & Knight’s historical presence in Texas and our outstanding energy expertise are sought after by firms. For several years, we have regularly received inquiries regarding possible mergers. We have had preliminary conversations with Reed Smith, and they are obviously a great firm, but it is premature to characterize these discussions in any detail.”

Under Jordan’s decade-long tenure, Reed Smith has grown from a Pittsburgh-centric 500-lawyer firm to an international firm three times the size through a series of major mergers and acquisitions. In 2001, the firm acquired 60-lawyer Warner Cranston of London. In January 2003, it acquired California’s 220-lawyer Crosby Heafey Roach & May. In 2007, the firm merged London’s 250-lawyer Richards Butler and 140-lawyer Sachnoff & Weaver of Chicago. And in January 2008, Reed Smith acquired 110-lawyer Richards Butler Hong Kong and 55 lawyers from New York’s Anderson Kill & Olick.

Armstrong Teasdale LLP is supporting the development of new renewable energy sources by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through AmerenUE’s Pure Power program.

Armstrong Teasdale’s commitment to this voluntary program will help prevent approximately 132,996 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), a leading greenhouse gas, from entering the atmosphere each year. This is equal to the CO2 reduction provided by taking 12 cars off the road for a year.

Pure Power is UE’s voluntary renewable energy program and the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2008 New Green Power Program of the Year Award Winner. It gives residential customers the option to add an extra 1.5 cents/kilowatthour to their monthly bills, offsetting up to 100 percent of their energy usage with clean, renewable energy. Commercial and industrial customers, like Armstrong Teasdale, participate by buying “blocks” of Pure Power, paying an additional $15 a month for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours used.

Pure Power funds are then used to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates from Green-e Energy-certified wind farms and other types of renewable energy projects. In 2009, 100 percent of the RECs purchased for the Pure Power program came from Missouri wind farms. This is projected to be true again in 2010.

Armstrong Teasdale’s level of participation makes it a UE Pure Power Leader--a designation reserved for companies, governments or other large users of electricity who agree to offset at least 3 percent of their energy usage through Pure Power purchases. This purchase also counts toward the City of Clayton’s effort to become the first EPA Green Power Community in the state of Missouri.

About Armstrong Teasdale LLP: Armstrong Teasdale LLP, with nearly 250 lawyers in offices across the U.S. and China, has a demonstrable track record of delivering sophisticated legal advice and exceptional service to a dynamic client base. Whether an issue is local or global, practice area specific or industry related, Armstrong Teasdale provides each client with an invaluable combination of legal resources and practical advice in nearly every area of law. For more information, please visit

Law firms Orrick, Akin Gump consider union

  Law Firm News  -   POSTED: 2010/09/29 09:42

Law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is in merger talks with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

Representatives from both firms characterized the talks as “preliminary.”

A deal would result in a unified law firm with about 1,740 attorneys around the world.

San Francisco-based Orrick had revenue of $847.5 million last year compared to Akin’s $719 million.

Large scale mergers between law firms have become the norm as they seek the most profitable work generated by multinational companies that are investing, selling, acquiring and suing. Some notable big deals include Hogan & Hartson uniting with Lovells and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal’s combination with Denton Wilde Sapte.

The Intellectual Property Practice Group at Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, L.C., is assembling a formidable team of legal talent with new attorneys Donald R. Holland, Ph.D., and William E. Lahey, two experienced, highly-regarded patent attorneys who have joined the firm.
Dr. Holland and Mr. Lahey are the first of several prominent IP attorneys the firm is currently adding to its IP practice to address new business in matters of high technology, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, and related litigation.
“While many law firms and their IP groups are stagnating in the current economy, we are expanding,” says Kenneth Solomon, Chair of Gallop, Johnson & Neuman’s IP Practice Group. “This is not a matter of merely adding capacity,” says Solomon. “This would not have been possible just a few years ago – the talent was just not available.  We are fortunate to add some of the most experienced, well-regarded patent attorneys in the St. Louis region,” he added.  
Dr. Holland, who earned a Ph.D. in cell physiology and biochemistry in addition to a law degree, has nearly 20 years of patent law experience in biotech, chemical and pharmaceutical sciences. He has focused his practice on patent preparation and prosecution and on opinion work including patentability opinions, clearance opinions and due diligence opinions.  Dr. Holland also has extensive experience in international and foreign patent prosecution, and in Hatch-Waxman opinion work.  Before becoming a patent attorney, Dr. Holland headed a pharmaceutical discovery research lab for many years.
Mr. Lahey has been an intellectual property attorney and “first chair” litigator for 35 years. He has handled cases involving biotechnology, computer sciences, electrical systems, fibers, mining safety, mechanical and other technologies. In addition, he has testified as an expert witness on patent law; conducted licensing negotiations for intellectual property rights; and rendered legal opinions on validity infringement and enforceability of intellectual property rights. He has conducted due diligence analysis for corporate mergers and acquisitions, and handled many patent application prosecution matters including ex-parte and inter-parties practices before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“In today’s technology-driven, patent-sensitive business environment, our clients require more intellectual property services to address a full range of legal issues,” Solomon observes. “Don and Bill are very experienced, very well-known and much respected in business, scientific, engineering and legal communities.”

Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, L.C., a full service law firm of 80 attorneys, has provided legal services to clients in diverse industries since its founding in 1976 and is one of the largest law firms in St. Louis. The firm also has offices in Washington, D.C. The firm serves public corporations; privately-held companies; entrepreneurs and start-up enterprises; individuals and families; trustees and trust beneficiaries; charities; and non-profit entities. The firm’s offices are located at 101 South Hanley Road, Suite 1700, in Clayton, Missouri, and at 1350 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 850, in Washington D.C.

For more information about Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, please contact Lois A. LaDriere at 314.615.6000 or visit the website   Media contact: Jeff Dunlap at 314.993.6925.

The American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Representation Project will acknowledge Philadelphia law firms Reed Smith LLP and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s role in ground-breaking, pro bono litigation of capital punishment appeals with an Exceptional Service Award on Wednesday, Sept.22, 2010 in Houston.  

“There is no greater responsibility for an attorney than to defend a person whose life is at risk,” said ABA President Stephen N. Zack. “These firms are courageous, passionate and skilled advocates who are deeply committed to core principles of justice like due process and fairness, despite the demands of these cases.  They represent the best of our profession and make us proud.”  

Drinker Biddle & Reath partner and death penalty expert Lawrence Fox will accept the award at the 24th Anniversary and Volunteer Recognition Event in Houston, TX.  Fox is a renowned contributor to systemic defense reform.  He is recognized for his amicus filings, which were cited by New York University law professor Anthony Amsterdam in his letter nominating the firm for the award; for standards-writing; and as an expert witness.

Reed Smith attorneys Christopher Walters and David Kochman will accept the award on behalf of their firm.  Reed Smith was nominated by the Southern Center for Human Rights and Equal Justice Initiative, which cited the firm’s leadership in four death row cases in Alabama in 2008.  Each of the four men were only weeks away from losing appeal rights due to lack of legal representation; and the death sentence in each case was imposed by a trial judge who overrode the jury’s decision to impose life without parole.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

Turner Padget Graham & Laney, P.A. announced Wednesday the firm’s inclusion in the inaugural Best Law Firms list, published by U.S. News & World Report in conjunction with Best Lawyers. Turner Padget is recognized as the top firm in 16 practice areas throughout the state, and is noted in eight additional categories among other top law firms in South Carolina. Inclusion on the U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms list signals a combination of excellence and breadth of experience. The full list is available today at

Turner Padget is recognized in the following categories:

•    Tier One Rankings:
o    Alternative Dispute Resolution
o    Criminal Defense: White-Collar
o    Trusts and Estates Law
•    Tier Two Ranking:
o    Tax Law

•    Tier One Rankings:
o    Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
o    Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
•    Tier Two Rankings:
o    General Commercial Litigation
o    Real Estate Law

•    Tier One Rankings:
o    Alternative Dispute Resolution
o    Banking and Finance Law
o    Insurance Law
o    Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
o    Municipal Law
o    Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
o    Real Estate Law
o    Trusts and Estates Law
o    Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
•    Tier Two Rankings:
o    Construction Law
o    Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants
o    Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
•    Tier Three Ranking:
o    General Commercial Litigation

•    Tier One Rankings:
o    Alternative Dispute Resolution
o    Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
•    Tier Two Ranking:
o    Intellectual Property law

The inaugural Best Law Firms list showcases over 8,000 law firms ranked in one or more of 81 practice areas. Major clients and leading lawyers were asked to rate the law firms they consider best in their practice areas. Ultimately, 9,514 clients – including every Fortune 100 company and over half of Fortune 1000 companies – provided 194,370 firm practice area evaluations. These survey responses were combined with more than 3.1 million evaluations of individual lawyers previously collected by Best Lawyers. Data regarding the number of clients a firm serves, combined with information on billing ranges, pro bono commitment, diversity and other objective data were integrated to develop the final list. 

About the U.S. News Media Group
The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes the monthly U.S. News & World Report magazine, the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine,, and The U.S. News Media Group’s signature franchises include its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its “America’s Best” series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, health plans, and more.

About Best Lawyers
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.  For over a quarter century, the company has helped lawyers and clients find legal counsel in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers lists are excerpted in a wide range of general interest, business and legal publications worldwide, reaching an audience of more than 17 million readers.

About Turner Padget
Founded in 1929, Turner Padget is one of South Carolina’s largest law firms with 91 attorneys and five offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville and Myrtle Beach. The firm provides clients in many industries with quality legal services in areas such as arbitration and mediation, business entity planning and organization, business litigation, construction and environmental litigation, employment and labor law, estate and tax planning, insurance coverage analysis and litigation, intellectual property, personal injury defense litigation, products liability, professional liability, real estate transactions, trucking and transportation, and workers’ compensation. For more information, visit

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