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Herbert Smith Is Mulling Possible Megamerger With Australia’s Freehills; Plans NY Launch in 2012

Posted Feb 6, 2012 6:03 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Herbert Smith, a venerable London-based firm with over 1,000 lawyers, is in preliminary talks with Australia's Freehills concerning a possible megamerger.

If the two firms decide to combine, they would not only have an attorney roster of 2,000 lawyers or more but would have a presence on every continent except Antarctica, according to the Asian Lawyer and Legal Week.

Herbert Smith presently shows no United States office on its website, but Legal Week says the firm plans to launch in New York later this year.

Counts vary as to the number of lawyers working at the two firms--the Asian Lawyer puts the total at nearly 2,000, while a Wall Street Journal article on the merger talks says the combined firms would have 2,400 attorneys.

Both firms have confirmed that they are discussing a possible merger, but say the talks are preliminary and no decision has been made to combine their operations.

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