Arnold & Porter bolsters West Coast with Howard Rice tie-up

US firm Arnold & Porter has boosted its West Coast presence through a deal with Californian firm Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, which is expected to go through on 1 January.

Doug Winthrop
Doug Winthrop

Washington-headquartered Arnold & Porter will inherit an extra 82 lawyers via the deal, bringing the number of lawyers operating out of the combined firms’ Californian offices to 160.

Arnold & Porter, which will retain its name, will have more than 800 lawyers operating out of nine office in the US and Europ after the tie-up.

Commenting on the merger Arnold & Porter chair Tom Milch said that the decision to combine rested on the firms’ shared core values as well as the calibre of Howard Rice’s lawyers.

Howard Rice chair Doug Winthrop added: “With Arnold & Porter, we’re teaming up with a firm that’s dedicated to excellence, has a collegial culture like ours, and has outstanding practices that will be of enormous benefit to our clients.”

The news comes as another US firm, Bryan Cave, has announced its merger with Denver-based Holme Roberts & Owen (HRO).

The combination of the two firms will add capabilities in energy, natural resources and sports law to Bryan Cave’s ipostfolio as well as bolstering the firm’s presence in the Rocky Mountain region and California.

The merger will see an extra 150 lawyers join Bryan Cave, bringing the firm’s total headcount up to 1,100. The firm, which will continue to operate under its current guise, expects to be ranked among the 25th largest in the world following the tie-up in January.

Bryan Cave chairman Don Lents said the merger would extend the firm’s geographic reach as well as its range of services and falls in line with planned growth strategy.

Bryan Cave’s last merger came in 2009, when the firm combined with 220-lawyer Atlanta firm Powell Goldstein (10 May 2010).

Most recently, the firm opened a second office in Frankfurt as part of its overall strategic plan to broaden the firm’s legal team in Germany (2 November 2011).