Squire Sanders law firm explores merger with Britain's Hammonds

By Amanda Becker
Monday, August 30, 2010

The law firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, which has local offices in both the District and Tysons Corner, announced last week that it was in the beginning stages of exploring a merger with Britain-based Hammonds.

Should partners at both firms approve the merger -- leadership expects votes before the end of the year -- the combined entity would have 1,300 attorneys in 37 offices located in 17 countries and revenue in excess of $625 million.

Squire Sanders Chair James J. Maiwurm and Hammonds Managing Partner Peter Crossley said in a joint release that the two firms' focus on expanding their geographic reach, their compatible client bases and their commitment to providing cost-conscious legal services were the driving force behind the proposed merger.

"We know that Hammonds shares the commitment to excellence that we demand of ourselves. But Hammonds, unlike many firms, also shares our understanding that excellence can and should combine with cost-effective, creative legal service," Maiwurm said in the statement.

Firm representatives said neither attorney was available for further comment at this stage in the merger process.

If completed, a merger between Squire Sanders and Hammonds would be the latest in a string of high-profile transatlantic mergers that have included law firms with offices in the District.

Washington-based Hogan & Hartson combined in May with London-based Lovells to form Hogan Lovells, a global firm with more than 2,500 attorneys and revenue that will exceed $1.9 billion.

The next month, the partnership at Chicago-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal voted unanimously to merge with Britain-based Denton Wilde Sapte to form SNR Denton, a 1,250-attorney firm that will have about $750 million in annual revenue. That merger is to be completed at the end of September.

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