Hammonds, Squire unite pre-merger

The corporate teams of prospective merger partners Hammonds and Squire Sanders & Dempsey are working on joint client pitches ahead of their proposed tie-up.

The firms first announced they were in discussions three months ago, and sources believe a decision on the merger could go before both firms’ partnerships as early as this week.

One senior figure close to the ongoing negotiations said: “The client pitches have been with existing ones and potential new clients – clients that neither firm would have pitched to before.” The clients are believed to include several private equity houses.

A key part of the merger talks is focusing on the integration of Hammonds’ modified lockstep and Squire Sanders’ purely merit-based remuneration system. Hammonds is likely to adopt the Squire Sanders model, according to sources.

“I think we’re looking at a far more integrated law firm than we’ve seen with other recent mergers,” said one source. “We’re also very much focused on practice group structure, and we still have a lot of work to do in that regard.”

Growth in Asia, and particularly in Hong Kong, is being mooted as a central part of the firms’ strategy if the merger goes ahead, while there could also be growth in Hammonds’ regional offices.