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Orrick Merges with 55-Lawyer German Firm

Posted Sep 16, 2008 7:48 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Mergers with German law firms were all the rage in 2001, and then came several years of relative quiet. Now there is a new merger to report: The 55-lawyer German firm Hölters & Elsing will merge with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Orrick chairman and CEO Ralph Baxter told the Daily Journal (sub. req.) that it was difficult to find a merger partner because of prior consolidation among European law firms. Germany is an important market, he said, and it plays a key role in cross-border transactions in China, Japan, the United States, Russia and other European countries.

Baxter said Hölters may have agreed to talk to Orrick last fall as a simple courtesy. But once talks began, it became clear there was a good cultural fit.

The merger “fits perfectly into our vision for the long term,” Baxter told the Daily Journal. “Our vision is that we will assemble and join to the firm lawyers in all the important centers for law and commerce."

After the merger, the combined firm will have 1,100 lawyers in 21 offices across Asia, Europe and North America, according to a press release.

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