K&L Gates pencils in merger with Kennedy Covington

<a class=K&L Gates pencils in merger with Kennedy Covington” />The latest regional firm likely to fall prey to a global powerhouse was unveiled today (1 May), when the 175-lawyer, Charlotte-based firm Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman announced it is in merger talks with K&L Gates.

If successful, the merger would create a 1,700-lawyer firm with 28 offices across the US, Europe and Asia on 1 July this year.

In a joint statement, K&L Gates chairman and global managing partner, Peter Kalis and Kennedy Covington managing partner, Eugene Pridgen highlighted the synergies between the two firms’ practices.

These include industry sectors such as financial services, real estate and technology.

Pridgen added: “The proposed combination would create a global platform and enable us to address our clients’ legal needs across the nation and around the world.”

The pair also pointed to the significant growth in the corporate and life science sectors in the Raleigh and Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina as a driver for the deal.

Kalis said: “The Carolinas are integrated into the global economy and are a destination for major investments by foreign business enterprises. With 30 Fortune 1,000 companies, entrepreneurs, growth companies, and great research universities calling the Carolinas home, it is no wonder that the region is routinely ranked among the foremost business climates in the United States.”

In recent months a number of national and international law firms, including Mayer Brown, Dewey & LeBoeuf and Winston & Strawn have targeted Charlotte, the US’ second-largest financial centre and headquarters of financial institutions such as Bank of America and Wachovia.