The high level of activity is predicted to continue by the producers of the statistics, Altman Weil. Tom Clay of Altman Weil said: 'We expect this pace of law firm combinations to continue into 2015. Whether a firm is proactively buying into a hot geographic market or a new practice area or defensively consolidating against the threat of new competition, a strategic combination can offer a good solution.'
The 2014 level was down by 7% on the year before when 88 deals took place. Altman explained the current state of the market in a statement: 'Large deals are not the norm in the current US legal market. Of the 82 law firm combinations reported in 2014, 59% were acquisitions of firms with between 2 and 5 lawyers, a dramatic jump from 2013 when only 36% of acquired firms fell into that size category. An additional 28% of acquisitions were of firms with between 6 and 20 lawyers. Overall 87% of 2014 combinations were acquisitions of law firms with 20 or fewer lawyers.' Source: Altman Weil