Business of Law

Bingham McCutchen reportedly has approached 4 major firms seeking a merger partner

Bingham McCutchen is looking for a merger partner and has approached at least four major firms within the last three months, Reuters reports.

The news agency’s article, which is based on information from unidentified sources, says the 123-year-old, 800-attorney Boston-based global legal practice has contacted Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Morrison & Foerster, O’Melveny & Myers and Winston & Strawn about a possible melding of their firms.

Bingham declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Mergers of law firms, large and small, have been on the upswing in recent years as attorneys compete for business in a changing legal environment.

“There is a shrinking legal market, and the impetus to join forces to put yourself in a better position to compete is pretty strong,” said Carter Phillips. He chairs Sidley Austin, which has hired a number of Bingham lawyers recently.

A Bingham spokeswoman told Reuters earlier that the firm anticipated partner attrition going into 2014 “because of forward-looking business decisions we made and because of a challenging 2013.”

See also: (Jan. 2014): “Another BigLaw firm announces administrative cuts” (Feb. 2014): “Bingham reveals $110M revenue drop in 2013; firm is ‘by no means an exception’” (May 2014): “14 lawyers exit Bingham for other BigLaw firms”

Boston Business Journal (June 2014): “Bingham takes three attorneys from Cooley LLP, bolstering life sciences and patents”

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