Law Firms

Law Firm Merger Pace on Even Keel; Charlotte ID'd as 'Hot Market'


Law firm mergers have kept to a steady pace for the past four quarters and aren’t expected to change much despite a weakening economy.

This from legal management consultancy Altman Weil, which is reporting that there were 17 law firm mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter of 2008, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Of the 17 mergers, two in the South were the most significant, the largest being the merger of Richmond, Va.,-based McGuireWoods with Charlotte, N.C.’s Helms, Mullis & Wicker. The combination made the firm nearly 900 lawyers strong.

“The McGuireWoods and Helms Mulliss deal, although a long time in consummation, is very significant,“ Altman Weil principal Tom Clay said in a statement. “Although there are over 20 NLJ 250 firms in Charlotte, this combination provides McGuireWoods with one of the strongest, most well-positioned groups in a very hot market. This will undoubtedly give rise to other overtures to Charlotte law firms.”

The other notable merger was that of Richmond, Va.’s LeClairRyan with Wright Robinson Osthimer & Tatum, which combined to create a 265-lawyer firm.

The complete list of mergers reviewed by Altman Weil can be seen on its MergerLine page.

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