Squire Sanders in merger talks with Patton Boggs

Squire Sanders has confirmed that it is in early stage merger talks with Patton Boggs, the Washington law and lobbying firm.

Squire Sanders is by some distance the larger of the two US firms. It has around 1,300 lawyers and 39 offices around the world and has recently embarked on a hiring spree, particularly in its UK arm.

Most recently Squire Sanders brought Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) former employment head Fraser Younson into the fold (7 February 2014). This followed the hire of DLA Piper competition and regulatory lawyer Martin Rees (6 January 2014).

Patton Boggs, which has around 400 lawyers, is best known for its lobbying practice in Washington. Until late last year it had been in merger talks with Texas-based firm Locke Lord, although the talks ultimately collapsed (20 December 2013).

That deal is thought to have come to an end because Patton Boggs was concerned a merger would have seen it absorbed by the larger Locke Lord.

Last year Patton Boggs announced 65 layoffs across its US offices.

Legacy Squire Sanders & Dempsey merged with national UK firm Hammonds in January 2011. The firm rebranded as Squire Sanders in January 2012.

Over the past few months Squire Sanders has brought in Berwin Leighton Paisner’s employment head Fraser Younson (7 February 2014), a DLA Piper real estate team (23 December 2013) and DLA Piper competition and regulatory lawyer Martin Rees (6 January 2014).