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Law firm merger scene still slow

  Mergers & Acquisitions  -   POSTED: 2010/04/07 14:38

There were eight new law firm combinations announced in the United States in the first quarter of the year, with three of them involving Philadelphia law firms, according to consultancy Altman Weil’s MergerLine Web site.

Newtown Square-based Altman Weil said data show a continuing slowdown of mergers that began in 2009.

“Although we’re seeing a lot more interest in mergers and acquisitions behind the scenes this year, it will take some time for law firms to shift gears from the internal crisis management focus of 2009 back to an outwardly facing, strategic stance,” Altman Weil principal Tom Clay said. “There will be a ramp-up period in the next few quarters before we see the pace of deal-making increase significantly.”

Of the eight law firm combinations announced this year, all involved the acquisition of firms with fewer than 50 lawyers, and five were acquisitions of firms with under 10 lawyers.

The largest acquisition of the first quarter was 245-lawyer, Morristown N.J.-based McElroy Deutsch’s acquisition of 45-lawyer Pepe & Hazard, based in Hartford, Conn. McElroy Deutsch entered the Philadelphia market in 2006 through the acquisition of Monteverde McAlee & Hurd.


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