Duane Morris acquires San Francisco boutique

Philadelphia law firm Duane Morris has merged with San Francisco firm Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft to significantly bolster its West Coast insurance and litigation practice.

The merger, announced today, will see the addition of more than 60 Hancock lawyers to Duane Morris’ San Francisco office, bolstering its local team to 90 lawyers.

It will also see the AmLaw 100 firm take on Hancock’s Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe offices from the effective date of the merger on 1 January 2006.

At the same time, the Los Angeles office will be bolstered by the separate hire of corporate partner Russell Roten from Coudert Brothers. He moves across with a team of four associates.

The combined firm will have in excess of 600 lawyers in 19 offices and is projected to generate revenue approaching US$350m in 2006. Duane Morris reported revenue of $264m in 2004.

Chairman of Duane Morris, Sheldon Bonovitz, said that all 19 of Hancock’s equity partners were expected to move across to Duane Morris as part of the merger. But some staff redundancies are likely as Hancock’s San Francisco office will relocate into Duane Morris’ premises within the next six to nine months.

Bonovitz explained that the merger was first initiated in the spring by a former partner of Hancock Rothert who is now with Duane Morris.