15 November 2019

Feeling the lawyerly love in Philly

Two of Philadelphia's oldest and largest law firms are go into merger talks with regional peers to boost national presence.


Philly-based Pepper Hamilton is in merger discussions with Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders, which would create a combined firm of over 1,000 attorneys. Fellow Philly-firm Drinker Biddle & Reath has also confirmed merger talks with Minneapolis-based Faegre Baker Daniels.

Confirmed by tweet

The discussions were confirmed by tweets, with Pepper stating there is a “possible combination,” and explaining “Our first priority is delivering exceptional legal services to our clients, and, as such, we will have no further comments at this time,” the tweet said. A Troutman spokeswoman confirmed the statement. A combo of Pepper Hamilton’s 645 lawyers and Troutman Sanders 424 lawyers would create a $800 million revenue firm with a combined 26 offices. Pepper has 14 offices and Troutman has 12, with only three locations duplicated, New York, Washington DC and Orange County in California. Pepper has engaged in merger talks in previous years, with a 2016 combo with Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith failing to materialise, and two attempts ten years earlier with Washington-based Arent Fox and Rochester-based Nixon Peabody. Troutman was also in merger talks last year with Dallas-based firm Winstead.

$900 million+

The Drinker Biddle talks with Faegre Baker would combine revenues of over $900 million, with Faegre Baker Daniels reporting $513 million in revenue and Drinker Biddle $450 million. It would also bring together over 1200 lawyers - with Faegre Baker having 669 and Drinker Biddle 530 – in 22 offices, with duplication in only the three locations of Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC. FaegreBD says its clients range from emerging startups to multinational corporations. Drinker Biddle is a national, full-service law firm providing litigation, regulatory and business solutions to a range of clients.

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