Law Firm Meger Talks: Charlotte Based Kennedy Covington and K&L Gates Discuss Combining Firms

Pittsburgh and Charlotte, N.C. (Lawfuel) — Global law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP (K&L Gates) and Carolinas firm Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman LLP (Kennedy Covington) are in discussions regarding a possible combination of firms, which could take effect by July 1, 2008. If the combination occurs, the resulting firm would comprise approximately 1,700 lawyers in 28 offices located in the United States, Europe and Asia.

“Charlotte is the second largest financial center in the United States,” noted K&L Gates Chairman and Global Managing Partner Peter J. Kalis and Kennedy Covington Managing Partner Eugene C. Pridgen, “and both K&L Gates and Kennedy Covington have strong orientations toward servicing clients from the financial services industry. Kennedy Covington also has an especially strong real estate practice that represents clients in transactions throughout the Carolinas and in many other states. Both firms feature strong practices that would service the extraordinary growth in the corporate and life science sectors in the Raleigh and Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. The Carolinas thus boast a substantial and diverse business community that includes but also extends well beyond the financial services sector to include real estate, biotechnology, healthcare, software, telecommunications, manufacturing, transportation and other industry sectors.”

K&L Gates’ Kalis continued: “The Carolinas are integrated into the global economy and are a destination for major investments by foreign business enterprises. With 30 Fortune 1000 companies, entrepreneurs, growth companies, and great research universities calling the Carolinas home, it is no wonder that the region is routinely ranked among the foremost business climates in the United States.”

“Kennedy Covington is one of the nation’s preeminent regional law firms, making it a very attractive potential partner,” added Kalis.

“Both Charlotte and the Triangle regions are quickly establishing dominant positions in the national and global economies,” said Pridgen of Kennedy Covington. “The proposed combination would create a global platform and enable us to address our clients’ legal needs across the nation and around the world. In K&L Gates, we believe that we have found a global firm that shares our commitment to our clients, to our communities and to our lawyers and staff. We are enthusiastic as we move forward with our discussions.”

The combined firm would have offices in Anchorage, Austin, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Fort Worth, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Paris, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, San Francisco, Seattle, Shanghai, Spokane/Coeur d’Alene, Taipei and Washington, D.C.

The discussions between K&L Gates and Kennedy Covington commenced late in 2007 and have progressed continuously since that time. If the talks proceed to a successful conclusion, it is anticipated that formal proposals will be presented to the respective partnerships in the summer.

A further press announcement will be made upon the resolution of the talks.

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