Patton Boggs, Squire Sanders Talk Merger

, Legal Times

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Patton Boggs, which announced the closure of its Newark office this week, is in early talks to merge with Squire Sanders, the firms said in a statement today.

A merger would bring the two firms’ headcount to 1,700 lawyers in 45 offices, putting it among the top 10 firms based on the most recent NLJ 350 headcount numbers.

While still in “very early stages,” the statement said, it’s not the first marriage Patton Boggs has entertained recently. The firm ended negotiations with Locke Lord in December partly because of potential liabilities in a litigation battle with Chevron Corp., The American Lawyer reported.

Patton Boggs, known for its lobbying practice in Washington, has shed about 20 percent of its lawyers since 2012. Firm chairman Edward Newberry said Monday that the cuts in New Jersey are part of a planned restructuring. About $70 million in business, including one client that almost single-handedly bankrolled the New Jersey office, ended for the firm since 2012. Still, Newberry said, the firm was profitable in 2013 with a $45 million net.

“Patton Boggs brings a powerful Washington presence and strong positions in Dallas, Denver, and Anchorage, as well as a network of offices in the Middle East, to the strong global platform of Squire Sanders,” according to the merger statement.

Squire Sanders, founded in Cleveland, has 1,250 lawyers and keeps two offices in the Washington metro area. Last week, the firm added American Conservative Union chairman Alberto Cardenas to its roster of lawyers and established a formal relationship with Cardenas’ Tampa and Tallahassee lobbying practice.

Contact Katelyn Polantz at kpolantz@alm.com. On Twitter: @kpolantz.

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