International Merger Market Shows Some Life

Newtown Square, PA, July 7, 2010 — There were ten new law firm combinations announced in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2010 according to Altman Weil MergerLine, including three international deals.

The largest and most noteworthy merger was the announced union of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, headquartered in Chicago, with London-based Denton Wilde Sapte.  The new firm will have over 1,250 lawyers on four continents.

In another international deal, California firm, Carroll Burdick & McDonough combined with Smith & Partners thereby adding offices in Stuttgart and Munich Germany and in Hong Kong.  Squire Sanders & Dempsey, headquartered in Cleveland, expanded its Asian operations with the acquisition of IP boutique Miki & Yoshida in Tokyo.

“These combinations, on top of the recent Hogan Lovells deal, are reflective of an uptick in interest in international mergers and we’re aware of a number of other transatlantic deals in the planning stages,” said Altman Weil principal Ward Bower.  “This is a necessary response to the growing globalization of client businesses.”

Other law firm combinations in the second quarter included 259-lawyer, New Orleans based Phelps Dunbar’s acquisition of Lyons Pipes and Cook, a 25 lawyer firm in Mobile, Alabama, and 290-laywer, Miami firm, Adorno & Yoss’ acquisition of Wong Fleming, a 15-lawyer minority and woman-owned firm in Princeton, New Jersey.  Four additional acquisitions were made of firms with fewer than ten lawyers. 

Of the ten total combinations, three were cross-border deals, two were multi-regional, two were combinations of Southern law firms, two were combinations of firms in the Western United States, and one was a Mid-Western combination.
A complete list of law firm mergers and acquisitions announced to date in 2010, as well as an archive from prior years and a three-year trend summary are available online at

About Altman Weil MergerLine™
Altman Weil MergerLine™ is an online tracking service hosted by legal management consultancy Altman Weil, Inc. It logs law firm combinations as they are reported by media outlets and in press releases; links the user to the original news stories; and, compiles key statistics on each deal.  The online service also includes an archive of past mergers and a section of commentary and analysis.  Learn more at
About Altman Weil
Founded in 1970, Altman Weil, Inc. is dedicated exclusively to the legal profession.  It provides management consulting services to law firms, law departments and legal vendors worldwide.   The firm is independently owned by its professional consultants, who have backgrounds in law, industry, finance, marketing, administration and government.   More information on Altman Weil can be found at


This story was updated July 8, 2010.

Contact Information

Ward Bower
Altman Weil, Inc.
(610) 886-2021

Go to Altman Weil MergerLine to view the complete list of 2010 law firm mergers, an archive from prior years, and links to related articles.

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