By Andrew Strickler, Law360
Beltway firm Arnold & Porter LLP and New York's Kaye Scholer LLP will merge in the New Year to create a new 1000-lawyer firm, leaders announced Thursday, marking the biggest BigLaw deal of a year.
While both struggled financially last year, leaders at the firms said the pending marriage was prompted by complementary practices in areas like pharmaceuticals and FDA matters, and more territory in a handful of major markets.
“We’ve had very good years and years we’re less than proud of, and both firms have been around a long time and have been through cycles,” said Michael Solow, managing partner of Kaye Scholer.
“What sets this apart for us is we’re looking at the future and the best way to get the types of work that will attract the kind of talent we want, and that was moving forward together,” he said.
Richard Alexander, the current chair of Arnold & Porter, who will also serve as chair of the combined firm, which will go live Jan. 1. Setting aside punctuation norms, the new firm will be known as Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer.
Jeffrey Lowe of Major Lindsey & Africa in D.C., said despite many unknowns about the ultimate benefits of firm deals, near-constant merger talks are the norm at firms across the market.
“I think everyone is still looking, and I don’t see that abating at all,” he said. For Kaye Scholer, "this deal gets them into D.C. in a real and meaningful way, and Arnold & Porter gets into New York in a real and meaningful way. In terms of coverage, it’s going to be a net positive for both.”
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