Piper Rudnick has opened early discussions with Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich about a merger between the two firms, according to law firm consultant Peter Zeughauser. Although firm leaders won’t say whether they’re negotiating, the two firms — themselves both products of past mergers — have made no secret of their desire to grow.
Such a merger would bring Gray Cary a substantial East Coast presence and a national platform, while realizing Piper’s dreams for more California lawyers.
iper and Gray Cary, both products of mergers, have made no secret of their desire to grow. A merger with Piper not only would bring Gray Cary a substantial East Coast presence, including a New York office, but also would give the lawyers a national platform and a 46-lawyer Los Angeles office, along with Piper’s strong real estate, litigation and lobbying groups.
Meanwhile, Piper’s dreams for more California lawyers would come true with Gray Cary’s presence in Silicon Valley, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento, and Piper could also benefit from Gray Cary’s strong technology practice.
The talks come at a time when Piper is in the midst of another major merger discussion. The firm is close to finalizing merger negotiations with 1,800-lawyer U.K. firm DLA. A partner close to the deal says the “leadership of both firms are in agreement on all material terms” and are now working on informing the partners. A merger with DLA would propel Piper, which now has about 975 lawyers, into the ranks of the world’s largest law firms, alongside Baker & McKenzie (3,200 lawyers) and Clifford Chance (3,300 lawyers).
A deal with both DLA and 380-lawyer Gray Cary would push Piper over the 3,000-lawyer mark.