Coudert Brothers is in the final stages of talks with Cleveland’s Squire Sanders & Dempsey to create a merger of equals.
The New York firm is about to embark on due diligence on Squire Sanders after nearly five months of discussions which have been led by Coudert Brothers’ chairman David Huebner.
According to German magazine Juve, (www.juve.de/cgi-bin/juve/ak.pl ) Coudert Brothers has been searching for a merger partner since last year and initially identified five potential targets which was then honed down to three practices.
It is understood that Coudert Brothers believes that a merger with the Cleveland-based firm will allow both practices to elevate their North America and London presence.
Internal sources say Coudert Brothers is billing the merger as one of "equals" and has assured its partners that the name of the combined entity, which would be the seventh largest US firm in terms of lawyers, would start with Coudert.
Coudert Brothers is currently in the throes of a 30-day due diligence process after which it hopes to proceed to the final stage of a tie-up with Squire Sanders.
A spokeswoman at Squire Sanders said: "We are in all kinds of talks with all kinds of people." However she declined to specifically comment on Coudert Brothers.