Law Firm Merger Announced – K&L Gates Combines With Luce Partners

New York and Dallas — LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Partners from the law firms Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP (K&L Gates) and Hughes & Luce LLP (H&L) today voted in favor of a proposal to combine the two firms, creating a law firm of more than 1,500 lawyers in 23 offices located throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Effective January 1, 2008, the combination provides the opportunity for Texas-based H&L and its clients to benefit from K&L Gates’ extensive international reach and broad practice capabilities, while increasing the global firm’s presence in the Lone Star State, a region that currently serves as home to more than 10 percent of Fortune 1000 companies as well as a multitude of other business entities focused on competing in national and global markets.

“Partners of both firms believe that K&L Gates will serve Texas businesses as a legal bridge to the globalized economy of the 21st century, just as it has in other parts of the United States, Europe and Asia,” said Peter Kalis, K&L Gates’ Chairman and Global Managing Partner and Edward Coultas, Hughes & Luce’s Managing Partner.

Headquartered in Dallas, and with offices in Fort Worth and Austin, Hughes & Luce’s approximately 150 lawyers have provided exceptional legal service to clients in a broad range of industries for more than 34 years. Key practice areas include complex litigation, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, tax, public policy, real estate, and outsourcing and technology transactions, among others.

The combined firm, which will employ the K&L Gates brand and have the legal name of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP, will have offices in Anchorage, Austin, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Spokane/Coeur d’Alene, Taipei and Washington, D.C.

The many strategic advantages resulting from the combination include:

Global Reach for Texas Enterprises. Now with 1,500 lawyers in 23 offices on three continents, K&L Gates presents one of the few credible, three-continent platforms in the legal profession and thus offers clients access to global financial and commercial centers and world capitals. The firm’s increasing presence in the United States, Europe, and Asia and the breadth of the firm’s practices serving industries central to the global economy – including technology, financial services, manufacturing, energy, transportation and life sciences, among others – allow clients with global operations or ambitions nearly unlimited opportunities to access legal expertise for their businesses.

Enhanced U.S. National Coverage for Texas Enterprises. Already offering national coverage in the United States through 16 offices and leading practices from coast to coast, K&L Gates’ combination with Hughes & Luce increases the firm’s presence in the key geographic region of Texas, home to a growing number of Fortune 1000 companies and an enviable number of middle market and emerging growth companies, funds and financial institutions, prominent universities, and individual entrepreneurs.

Comprehensive Legal Services in Texas. With nearly 200 lawyers in Texas, the firm will be positioned to meet the sophisticated legal challenges that companies and individuals – no matter their residence – encounter in one of the largest, most dynamic markets in the United States.

Unsurpassed Legal Talent and Professional Leadership. With the combination of the firms, K&L Gates adds a number of respected Texas practitioners – including a former Texas Supreme Court Justice, the former Chair of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, a former Mayor of Austin, a former U.S. Supreme Court Law Clerk, and the author of a treatise on estate planning used by law schools throughout the country – to its already impressive roster of distinguished firm members. Among the noteworthy individuals they join are a former Attorney General of the United States, a former United States Senator, both the current and a former President of the American Bar Association, former Supreme Court Law Clerks, the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, three recipients of The American Lawyer’s Lifetime Achievement Award, former Rhodes Scholars and White House Fellows, and two recipients of the SEC’s award for most distinguished alumni.

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