New York transport specialist Haight Gardner Poor & Havens is poised to merge with Tampa-based firm Holland & Knight to create the 15th largest law firm in the US.
Holland & Knight is currently the largest firm in Florida, with around 500 lawyers. It also has offices in Atlanta, Washington and Georgia, but does not as yet have a presence in New York.
Haight Gardner has 76 fee earners and specialises in international transport and finance. If the merger goes ahead, the New York office is expected to broaden its practice.
Colin Fergus, of Fergus Partnership Consulting in New York, said the merger was interesting because it was the first of its kind involving a New York firm in a long time.
“The real little gem in Haight Gardner is its aircraft practice,” Fergus said. “I would think that is the thing that Holland & Knight found attractive.”
It is understood that the two firms have agreed in principle to merge pending reaching an agreement on some final sticking points.
The resulting firm is likely to be known as Haight Gardner Holland & Knight in New York, San Francisco and internationally, but will continue as Holland & Knight in its 11 other offices.