Richards Butler and Reed Smith sign merger agreement

Reed Smith and Richards Butler have today announced that they have signed a letter of intent to complete a full merger by 1 January, 2007.

Merger negotiations have reached an advanced stage with votes by both partnerships scheduled for the end of May, subject to due diligence.

The merger is set to create a new firm of more than 1,300 lawyers with global revenues of $725m predicted.

The new firm wil be known as Reed Smith, with exceptions in certain markets such as London where the practice will use the name Reed Smith Richards Butler.

Under the merger proposal the new firm will be led by Greg Jordan (Reed Smith managing partner) as firmwide managing partner with Roger Parker of Richards Butler joining Reed Smith’s senior management team and taking the role of European managing partner.

Reed Smith managing partner Greg Jordan said the two firms saw “eye-to-eye on the strategic need to merge”.

“We have been strengthening our London presence for some time to use as the springboard for further expansion in Europe and into the far east,” he said.