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January 6, 2011 4:07 PM

It's Off! Reed Smith, Thompson & Knight End Merger Talks

Posted by Brian Baxter

Three months after we reported on merger talks between Reed Smith and Thompson & Knight, the two firms have called off a possible combination. In a statement released late Thursday, the management of both firms said they decided against pursuing a potential merger, "prior to submitting the matter to either partnership for a vote."

Reed Smith and Thompson & Knight acknowledged in the statement that they had engaged in merger talks and conducted due diligence on a combination in the latter part of 2010--as we reported earlier Thursday, the end of last year was a busy time for law firm mergers.

"We are very impressed with Thompson & Knight's lawyers, practices, and clients," Reed Smith global managing partner Gregory Jordan said in the statement. "Both firms are coming off record years in terms of profitability, but we cannot get all of the pieces in the right place now."

Jordan added that Reed Smith would continue to partner with Thompson & Knight "on shared work" as his firm pursues its strategic initiatives and serves its clients. His counterpart at Thompson & Knight, Jeffrey Zlotky, said that "a large number of issues have to align to make a merger work."

According to the latest Am Law 100 financial data, 1,430-lawyer Reed Smith had gross revenue of $942 million in 2009, and profits per equity partner of more than $1 million. Am Law 200 data shows that 420-lawyer Thompson & Knight's 2009 gross revenue was $224 million and its profits per partner were $855,000.

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