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BCG News - 9/29/03

9/29/03

Akin Gump and Shaw Pittman ponder a merger

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, a Dallas-based full service firm that ranks among the largest firms in the United States with 950 attorneys, is currently discussing the possibility of a merger with the Washington, DC firm Shaw Pittman. Akin Gump currently has 15 offices, including four overseas, and would be taking on five additional domestic offices as well as 350 attorneys if the merger were to go through. The talks are still in the preliminary stages, however, and there is no word on when the two firms hope to reach a final decision. The Recorder 9/24/03

BCG News - 9/29/03

London firm SJ Berwin seeks a US partner for merger
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood currently appears to be the front runner of a pack of six firms being considered by British firm SJ Berwin, which is actively seeking an American merger partner. Only informal talks have taken place at this point, but both sides seem amenable to further discussions. Sources from Sidley Austin have said that they would be pleased to increase their London presence, while SJ Berwin is looking for an American firm to merge with as part of a long-term business straegy. Legal Week 9/25/03

Paul Hastings is seeking a merger with French partner
In a busy week for merger news, Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is seeking a French merger partner. While 60-attorney Moquet Borde & Associates is currently considered the leader, Paul Hastings has insisted that they are in talks with several French firms and have yet to choose just one with which they will enter into negotiations. Paul Hasting's London office is currently its only European branch, which they hope to change by moving into several other high profile European locations. Legal Week 9/24/03

Dewey Ballantine LLP announces the opening of an Italian practice
Dewey Ballantine LLP has announced the opening of two new Italian offices, effective October 1. The offices will be located in Milan and Rome and will house roughly 20 attorneys when they open their doors. The addition of two offices brings Dewey Ballantine's total number of offices to 14, exactly half of which are international. In addition to the two new Italian offices, an Italian desk will be added to the firm's London branch. Firm Press Release 9/23/03

Duane Morris expands its Pittsburgh office
With plans to have 25 lawyers in its newly-opened Pittsburgh office by year's end, Duane Morris has taken a few steps toward that goal recently with the announcement of the hiring of five new attorneys. The five new attorneys includes three partners, two from Buchanan Ingersoll and one from Pepper Hamilton LLP , as well as two associates. The new lawyers will complement Duane Morris's complex litigation and bankruptcy practice areas. The Pittsburgh office now has nine attorneys. Firm Press Release 9/15/03

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