Pittsburgh’s largest law firm, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, said yesterday that it would merge with English firm Nicholson Graham & Jones, giving it one of the five largest London offices among U.S. law firms.
The combination, approved unanimously by partners on both sides of the Atlantic, will form Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, with 950 lawyers in 10 U.S. cities and London once the deal closes Jan. 1.
It’s expected that the merged firm will generate more than $500 million in revenue during its first year of operation, up from an estimated $430 million to $440 million this year.
Pittsburgh is expected to benefit and add jobs as the workload rises as a result of the expansion, said Peter Kalis, chairman of the K&L’s managing committee. Past mergers also have created more jobs at the firm’s largest office, he said, adding it was too early to be specific about the impact of the latest transaction.
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart was founded in Pittsburgh and has 271 lawyers Downtown, including 102 partners. It employs about 530 more attorneys at offices in Boston; Dallas; Harrisburg; Los Angeles; Miami; Newark, N.J.; New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Nicholson Graham & Jones, which adds 135 lawyers to the mix, already collaborates with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart on areas such as mergers and acquisitions, litigation issues, environmental law, intellectual property and insurance coverage. But K&L decided a closer arrangement was needed to assist clients’ growing international needs.
“We represent principally corporations that are either global in nature or do business internationally,” said Kalis. “This gets us the ability to service their needs on both sides of the Atlantic.”