US firms keep marriages local

Plenty of US firms have taken a leaf out of Reed Smith‘s and Richards Butler’s book as the two firms look to complete their transatlantic merger following a successful partnership vote last month. But instead of a flurry of tie-ups across the pond, the US market is instead being bombarded by national link-ups.

Pittsburgh-based law firms Buchanan Ingersoll and Klett Rooney Lieber & Schorling walked down the aisle last month to form Philadelphia’s largest law firm, with more than 525 lawyers, as reported by The Lawyer (19 June).

However, it is Bryan Cave’s and Squire Sanders & Dempsey’s long-running courtship that is creating the most steam – and headlines.

As first reported by The Lawyer (10 June), the firms are expected to seal their merger within the next month after partners at both firms received merger packs with details of the new management team earlier this month.

St Louis-based Bryan Cave and Ohio-headquartered Squire Sanders have been wooing each other for months. And at the time of going to print, sources at the firms expected partners to vote on the union any day.

But while the Americans might be choosing to go it alone in terms of mergers, one UK firm is not taking the cold shoulder lightly.

Not one to be outdone by its US brothers, Clyde & Co is making a play for the US litigation market, securing four partners from US firm Condon & Forsyth and new offices in New York and Los Angeles.

London partners Diane Westwood Wilson, Christopher Carlsen and Andrew Harakas joined Clydes last week to set up in the New York office, while partner Kevin Sutherland is based in Los Angeles, as first revealed on (27 June).