Hogan Lovells merger gets backing of firms’ partners

Lovells managing partner David Harris (pictured), who will be joint CEO of the new firm along with Hogan chairman Warren Gorrell, said in a statement: “Hogan Lovells presents a compelling proposition to our clients and to the market more generally.

“The new firm will have unrivalled global capability and distinctive strengths in dispute resolution, regulatory, antitrust, corporate, finance, intellectual property and real estate.”

Gorrell added: “Hogan Lovells will have a global presence with high quality practices and geographic depth unmatched in the market, including in the world’s major business and financial centres.

“At the same time, each firm will preserve its shared cultural and core values – collegiality, teamwork, and worldwide leadership in community service.”

Regulatory approval is still required for the new firm, but it is anticipated that it will comprise a US LLP, an International LLP, a Swiss Verein and the various businesses that are affiliated to these structures. Lovells will become part of Hogan’s existing US LLP, which will be rebranded Hogan Lovells, while the reverse will happen in Europe and Asia.

As revealed by The Lawyer last month the combined entity, which will be called Hogan Lovells, will take on Lovells’ corporate governance structure while its pay structure will mirror Hogan’s (16 November 2009).

Under Hogan’s merit-based equity structure 85 per cent of a partner’s remuneration is linked to points that accumulate from the point of making equity partner, while the remainder comes from a bonus pool set aside to reward exceptional performance. The points-linked element, based on areas including billings, client development, pro bono and firm-mindedness, is reviewed biennially, while the bonus is calculated at the end of each financial year.

When the merger goes ahead Lovells partners’ lockstep points will be translated into merit-based points, taking account of lockstep progression. To ensure partners are placed at the right level it will take two years to be fully integrated onto the system, although bonuses will be paid at the end of 2010-11.

While Hogan gets first billing in the enlarged firm’s name, a piece of pre-merger Lovells will live on in the post-merger firm, with its website and all printed literature featuring its green branding (16 November 2009).