Record Pace for US Law Firm Combinations Continues

Small Intellectual Property Firms Are Acquisition Targets

Newtown Square, PA, October 5, 2015 — There were 20 law firm combinations announced in the United States in the third quarter of 2015, according to Altman Weil MergerLine.  There have been 68 deals announced through the end of September 2015 – the highest number recorded in that time period in the nine years that Altman Weil MergerLine has been compiling data.

All of the combinations announced in July, August and September 2015 were acquisitions of law firms with 35 lawyers or fewer. 

“Large and mid-sized law firms continue to cherry-pick desirable small firms based on practice specialty or geography,” says Altman Weil principal Eric Seeger.  “We’re also seeing same-city or same-state tie-ups between smaller firms that are joining forces in an attempt to strengthen their relative market positions.” 

Intellectual property boutiques were a prime target for large law firm acquirers in the third quarter.

Cincinnati-based Dinsmore & Shohl acquired 17-lawyer intellectual property law firm Gifford Krass Sprinkle Anderson & Citowsi in Detroit, moving the firm close to the 600-lawyer mark in total headcount.

Haynes and Boone, a 550-lawyer Dallas-based Am Law 100 law firm, acquired another small intellectual property firm - eight-lawyer Mavrakakis Law Group with offices in Palo Alto and Chicago.

Brownstein Hyatt, a Mountain West law firm with 225 lawyers, expanded its presence in Reno, Nevada with the addition of seven-lawyer intellectual property litigation specialists Watson Rounds.

Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, a 150-lawyer Pacific Northwest regional firm also picked up an IP boutique - seven-lawyer, Stolowitz Ford Cowger in Portland, Oregon.

The largest combination of the quarter, announced on September 30th, was 230-lawyer New York state law firm Bond Schoeneck & King’s acquisition of 35-lawyer Buffalo firm, Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel.  The deal will be final January 1, 2016.

The Midwest was the most active region in the third quarter of 2015 with six law firm combinations.  Five law firms in the western US and five in the Middle Atlantic states were also acquired in the quarter.

The complete list of law firm mergers and acquisitions announced to date in 2015 as well as an archive from prior years and an eight-year trend summary are available online at

About Altman Weil MergerLine™
Altman Weil MergerLine™ 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

Contact Information

Eric Seeger
Altman Weil, Inc.
Email this page
Email this page

Practices & Services