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December 15, 2009 10:28 AM

Hogan Lovells Merger Approved By Partners

Posted by Brian Baxter

According The Blog of Legal Times, a sibling blog, the partnerships of Hogan & Hartson and British firm Lovells have approved the merger between the two firms that was first announced two months ago. The Hogan Lovells shingle is now scheduled to go up May 1.

Before then, several thorny issues still need to be worked out. The BLT reports that client conflicts, leadership details, and overlapping offices and practice areas must all be sorted through.

Lovells managing partner David Harris told The BLT that there were some minor conflicts, but not enough to scuttle the merger. Harris declined to name the clients or practice groups involved. The BLT reports that the two firms share several clients like JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Ford Motor Company, and Barclays.

Both firms also maintain duplicate offices (and leases) in Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Warsaw.

The BLT notes that Hogan Lovells will follow the template of past international law firm mergers undertaken by DLA Piper and Reed Smith in having a partnership of lawyers that work in the U.S. and those that work abroad. Each partnership will have its own profit pool, The BLT reports, but compensation still will e determined by the combined firm's performance as a whole.

The proposed merger will create a transatlantic megafirm of 2,500 lawyers with roughly $1.9 billion in revenue that would rival Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Jones Day in size.

"We're really excited," Hogan chairman J. Warren Gorrell, Jr., told The BLT. "It's not often that I get to drink Dom Perignon at 7:30 in the morning, but this is a great day for us."

Gorrell declined to tell The BLT how many partners at both firms voted for and against the merger, but did note that the deal had "overwhelming support."

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