Partners give approval to Patton Boggs-Squire Sanders merger

Partners at Squire Sanders and Washington DC-based Patton Boggs have agreed to merge the firms and new outfit Squire Patton Boggs will launch within a week. 

The combined firm will have 1,700 lawyers in 45 offices across 22 countries. It will give Patton Boggs the international platform its clients are increasingly demanding and Squire Sanders a boost in Washington DC. 

The merger vote took place last week (24 May), but was reportedly delayed due to a complication in Patton Boggs’ legal battle with oil giant Chevron. Patton Boggs handed over $15m to Chevron to settle the case and also issued a statement of regret two weeks ago (12 May 2014).

The firm had been looking for a merger partner for a number of months, after facing the multi-million dollar legal battle and announcing 65 layoffs in March last year. It had initially targeted Texas-based Locke Lord, though those talks fell through in December (20 December 2013).

In April, Dentons waded into the discussions hoping to merge with Patton Boggs (2 April 2014). The firm has since withdrawn from the talks.

The tie-up would have handed Dentons the extra US weight it has been seeking, after its talks with US firm McKenna Long & Aldridge broke down just one week before the expected vote (27 November 2013).

Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders started talking in February. 

Patton Boggs is one of the US’ pre-eminent public policy and lobbying Beltway firms with nine offices including Dallas, Denver, and Anchorage as well as a network in the Middle East. 

Squire Sanders CEO Jim Maiwurm said: “Today marks an important day in the history of our firm. Patton Boggs is the premier public policy firm in the world, and this combination establishes us as the ‘go-to’ firm for public policy work. We also gain a leading position in the Middle East and several new locations in the United States, while deepening our bench in a number of important practices areas, all of which strengthen our service platform.

“Through our discussions we have gained a great deal of respect for the partnership and culture of Patton Boggs. We are very pleased to combine leading global and public policy firms with diverse and strong practices and client bases, strong regional positions and international orientations. Together we will be uniquely positioned to respond to the needs of business clients around the world.”

According to legal consultancy Altman Weil there have been 58 combinations between US firms so far this year, compared to 60 across 2012 and 39 throughout 2011.