Kelly Drye and Collier sign merger deal

New York-based Kelley Drye & Warren and Washington DC’s Collier Shannon confirmed their merger yesterday (February 22).

The Lawyer revealed that the two firms were in advanced discussions on Monday (February 20).

Kelley chairman John Callagy said: “We are expanding our capabilities in Washington DC, and were impressed by the quality of Collier Shannon’s people, their common interests, their common culture, and their type of clients.”

Collier chairman Paul Rosenthal will be managing partner of the merged firms’ DC office, and two of Collier’s 82 lawyers will join the new firm’s national management board.

Kelley’s DC operation will move into Collier’s premises, and its present office in the city will eventually be closed. The new office will hold 125 lawyers out of a total of 300 across the firm.

Rosenthal said the merger does not “drive or reflect international ambitions,” though Kelley’s small offices in Brussels and Mumbai “are a good thing from [Collier’s] perspective”.

Rosenthal predicted that turnover will be as good or better than at present “because of our synergies and the complimentary nature of our practises,” citing Kelley’s litigation and Collier’s government relations and international trade practises.

He also predicted that PEP will not decrease in the first year after the merger.

The two firms have been engaged in merger talks since November. An official announcement will be made “in the next week or two,” he said.