09 Jan 2020

Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton agree to merge creating a top 50 US firm

Partnerships vote through deal to forge Troutman Pepper in second national law firm merger in a month


The partnerships at the national US law firms Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton have voted to merge to create a top 50 US law firm. The combined firm – to be called Troutman Pepper - will boast 1,100 lawyers working out of 23 offices.

In a joint statement, the firms said their combined revenue would be more than $900m giving them a projected Am Law 100 ranking of 47th.

It is the second major national US law firm merger to be announced within a month after Faegre Baker Daniels and Drinker Biddle & Reath's agreement to combine creating a firm with revenue approaching $1bn. 

Ranked at 68 in the Am Law 100, Atlanta-based Troutman is the larger of the merger partners. It also enjoys a higher profit per equity partner figure ($1,074k versus $830k).

The firm’s managing partner, Steve Lewis, will become chair and chief executive of the combined firm. Tom Gallagher, chair of Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton’s executive committee, will be vice chair of the new firm, which is due to open for business on 1 April.

In a joint statement, the two firms said they had complementary strengths in key sectors of the US economy. They identified corporate, litigation, intellectual property, tax and bankruptcy as among their strongest practice areas and health sciences, energy, real estate, insurance, finance, private equity, construction and technology as important industry sectors. The firms added they would have offices in eight of the 10 largest US markets. 

“Troutman Pepper will offer a deeper bench, increased resources and an expanded geographic footprint,” said Lewis. “With these factors, we see a tremendous upside for both our clients and potential new growth.”

Gallagher added: “From a cultural standpoint, we are significantly aligned on values.”

The deal kicks off 2020 US law firm merger activity with a bang. Last year was a record year for deals involving US firms, with 115 announced combinations representing an 8.5% increase on the previous year, according to Altman Weil MergerLine.

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