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After eight months of talks Bingham Dana partners vote for merger; link-up creates 820-lawyer firm
Bingham Dana is set to merge with San Francisco-based McCutchen Doyle Brown & Emerson, creating a national firm with 820 lawyers and revenues in excess of $400m (£273.9m). The two firms will formally merge in July, becoming Bingham McCutchen. Talks between the firms started in September and, after eight months, Bingham Dana's partners gave the proposed merger the thumbs up last Wednesday. Bingham Dana managing partner Jay Zimmerman will step up to become the combined firm's chairman, while McCutchen Doyle head Donn Pickett will become vice chairman. Zimmerman said: "The merger is a natural part of the platform that we've been putting together for eight to 10 years." The move will make Bingham Dana Boston's biggest law firm and give it an immediate presence on the West Coast, where McCutchen Doyle has four offices. Zimmerman said: "With our geographic strength on the eastern seaboard from Boston to Washington, our goal was to find a merger partner that was a leader on the West Coast. This will be the first combination involving two firms with major presences in the Boston and northern Californian markets, and we believe that will put us in a unique position to serve our clients." Pickett said: "It's no secret that we've long been interested in pursuing a merger to better serve our clients, and it's been well worth the wait. Bingham Dana turned out to be our ideal merger partner." The two firms have litigation in common. Zimmerman said that enhancing Bingham Dana's litigation practice was a priority. Litigation accounts for 20 per cent of its turnover, but will drive 40 per cent of the combined firm's revenues. Bingham Dana is widely known for finance and litigation work. Clients include Harvard University, Boston Red Sox and FleetBoston Financial. It has also developed a strong insolvency niche through its acquisition of Hebb & Gitlin, and two years ago opened in London to create a transatlantic bankruptcy practice. McCutchen Doyle has a broad-based litigation practice focused on antitrust, intellectual property and technology work. Bingham McCutchen will have 10 offices, including ones in London and Singapore.