K&L Gates closes in on Texan merger

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis (K&L Gates) has announced it is in merger talks with Texas-based Hughes & Luce.

The deal is slated for an end-of-year completion. If successful, the talks would result in a firm with more than 1,500 lawyers in 24 offices across the US, Europe and Asia.

Peter Kalis, K&L Gates’ chairman and global managing partner, said that more than 100 Fortune 1,000 companies were headquartered in Texas.

“These and other Texas-based enterprises, including an enviable number of middle market and emerging growth companies, funds and financial institutions, and individual entrepreneurs, compete in regional, national and global markets, just as enterprises based elsewhere in the world do substantial business in Texas,” said Kalis. “Hughes & Luce is one of the pre-eminent law firms in the state and thus a very attractive potential partner.”

The merger talks began in the spring. It is anticipated that, if the talks are successful, formal proposals will be presented to the respective partnerships in the autumn.

K&L Gates changed its name at the start of 2007 following the merger of US firm Preston Gates & Ellis with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, the latter the result of the 2005 takeover of London’s Nicholson Graham & Jones.