There were 17 new law firm mergers and acquisitions reported in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2008, according to the legal management consultancy Altman Weil Inc.
The Newtown Square, Pa.-based consultancy said that the pace of mergers has stayed at a steady pace for the past four quarters and it does not expect that it will change despite the weakened economy and looming recession.
Altman Weil noted that two deals in the Southern U.S. were most significant. The largest merger was between McGuireWoods LLP, a 750-lawyer firm in Richmond, Va. and Helms Mulliss & Wicker, a 145-lawyer firm in Charlotte, NC.
LeClair Ryan and Wright Robinson Osthimer & Tatum, both Richmond-based firms, also announced that they combined to form a 275-lawyer firm.
LeClair Ryan is a relatively new addition to Massachusetts. The firm established an office in Boston in July of 2007 when 16 lawyers left Donovan Hatem LLP. Late last year LeClair Ryan’s Boston office signed a lease for new office space that can accommodate 50 attorneys and staff.
“LeClair Ryan continues its acquisitions, having acquired 45-lawyer Seiden Wayne in northern New Jersey last December,” said Altman Weil principal Tom Clay, in a statement. “The Wright Robinson acquisition gives them more than just additional depth and breadth, but unique litigation support capabilities as well.”