Law Firms

WolfBlock & Akerman Senterfitt to Form 800-Lawyer Firm

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It’s still not official. But Philadelphia-based WolfBlock and Miami’s Akerman Senterfitt are reportedly about to merge, creating an 800-plus attorney firm.

“The executive committees of both firms have signed off on the deal, and votes by partners at WolfBlock and Akerman are expected shortly,” reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The planned marriage of the two well-known law partnerships reflects conventional wisdom today that bigger generally is better, as far as those seeking to perform legal work for major corporations are concerned. The two also expect the real estate and trusts and estates expertise at 317-attorney WolfBlock to add depth to the extensive transactional and commercial practice at the 500-lawyer Akerman firm.

However, some law firms, such as New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, are nationally renowned for their work even though they have far smaller attorney rosters–about 200 lawyers in Wachtell’s case.

In 1978, when Pepper Hamilton’s executive partner, Robert Heideck, graduated from law school, “it soon became apparent that the 50-lawyer all-purpose firm could not survive,” he tells the newspaper. “Then it became the 100-lawyer firm, and at this point it is very hard for the 200- to 300-lawyer firm to prosper.”

Earlier coverage: “Akerman to Merge With WolfBlock?”

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