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October 8, 2009 10:54 AM

Hogan & Hartson, Lovells Talking Merger

Posted by Ed Shanahan

Hogan & Hartson and London-based Lovells are in the early stages of merger talks, reports London's LegalWeek.

The talks were initiated informally several months ago, according to Legal Week. Lovells's leadership is scheduled to consider the merger at an international executive committee meeting on October 28.

If ultimately approved, the combined firm will number roughly 2500 lawyers and rank in the top 10 globally in terms of revenue, according to figures from this month's Global 100 ranking.

Hogan & Hartson, based in Washington, D.C., ranked twenty-second in the most recent Am Law 100 survey, with $922.5 million in gross revenue in 2008.

The talks are being led on Hogan's end by firm chairman J. Warren Gorrell, Legal Week reports.

The possibility of a merger is a change of strategy for the D.C.-based firm, according to The National Law Journal. As reported Thursday, Hogan & Hartson has been wary of large-scale mergers in the past. Three years ago, Gorrell told The American Lawyer that such mergers are hard to pull off.

"Clearly, the firm has overcome its reservations," write Carrie Levine and Jeff Jeffrey in the NLJ. "Today’s announcement that the century-old Washington stalwart is talking merger with London-based Lovells is exactly the kind of high-stakes merger Gorrell, and Hogan, has shied away from in the past, even as Washington-based competitors used mergers to add head count and offices in new markets."

So why now?

Click here for LegalWeek's coverage of the merger talks, and click here for The National Law Journal's report on what such a merger would mean for Hogan & Hartson.

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