K&L Gates confirms Texan merger

The much-trailed merger between K&L Gates and Texas-based Hughes & Luce got the green light yesterday (Monday 17 December) when partners at both firms voted in favour of a combination.

The deal, which goes live on 1 January 2008, will create a law firm with more than 1,500 lawyers in 23 offices throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

In a joint statement, K&L Gates’ chairman Peter Kalis and Hughes & Luce’s managing partner Edward Coultas said: “Partners of both firms believe that K&L Gates will serve Texas businesses as a legal bridge to the globalised economy of the 21st century, just as it has in other parts of the United States, Europe and Asia.”

As The Lawyer exclusively revealed earlier this year (www.thelawyer.com , 26 July), the two firms began exploratory merger talks in the spring.

Hughes & Luce is headquartered in Dallas and has offices in Fort Worth and Austin. It has approximately 150 lawyers with key practice areas including litigation, M&A, IP, tax, public policy, real estate, and technology.

The combined firm will use the K&L Gates brand and carry the legal name of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis.