Dewey Ballantine and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe — came closer to walking down the aisle yesterday.

Top committees of the two firms recommended a deal, the two said yesterday. The combined firm would be called Dewey Orrick, with 1,500 lawyers and offices around the world. Together, they would form the seventh-largest law office in New York, and have revenue around $1 billion, the firms said in a joint statement.

The merger would be the latest in a wave of consolidation among law firms.

A merger “gives us a stronger geographical reach, complementary practice areas and gives us financial strength to continue to build practice areas,” the chairman of the management and executive committees, Morton A. Pierce, said.

Orrick’s chairman, Ralph H. Baxter Jr., said: “This will create a new and highly unusual, if not unique, value proposition for our clients. Few firms will match the depth we’ll have.”

Some terms of the deal are not yet final, and it is subject to approval by each firm’s partners. Mr. Pierce said the firms hoped to obtain approval by mid-December, paving the way for Dewey Orrick by Jan. 1. The Wall Street Journal reported the move by the firms’ top committees yesterday.

Based on details released yesterday, while Dewey’s name will have first billing, the new partnership will retain Orrick’s signature green “O” logo. Mr. Morton and Mr. Baxter will serve as co-chairmen, with Mr. Baxter taking the additional title of presiding partner.

At a glance, Dewey and Orrick seem like opposite-coast reflections of each other. Both have long histories: Dewey’s name is that of the former New York governor and presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey, while Orrick is one of San Francisco’s oldest law firms, founded in 1863.

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