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New York-based firm Kelley Drye & Warren and Washington DC's Collier Shannon Scott are expected to reach a merger agreement within the next week.
At the time of going to press, the two firms had not yet signed a letter of intent, but Collier managing partner Paul Rosenthal confirmed that the firms were "in merger discussions".
He told The Lawyer that it was too "premature to discuss the firm's plans", but admitted that an agreement should be reached within the next week.
If the expected merger does go ahead, it would boost significantly the size and regulatory expertise of Kelley Drye's DC office, which currently comprises 40 lawyers, to approximately 125 lawyers.
Kelley Drye has 300 lawyers spread across six offices in the US and three international presences, including affiliate offices in Jakarta and Mumbai. Collier has 82 lawyers, all of whom are based in its single office in DC.
The merger discussions coincide with a large number of defections from Kelley Drye's New York office in recent weeks.