Friday, August 17, 2012

K&L Gates moving toward merger with Australian firm

K&L Gates, a law firm with roots in Pittsburgh, Pa. and active environmental practices in Newark, New York and Harrisburg, is in merger talks with Australian firm, Middletons. The combination would create a firm of more than 2,000 lawyers in 45 offices throughout Australia, North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

“Our leadership teams believe that the client-driven consolidation and globalization evident in the market for legal services will continue unabated and the potential synergies that would arise from the combination of our firms deserve (and are receiving) serious consideration,” said K&L Gates Chairman and Global Managing Partner Peter J. Kalis and Middletons National Managing Partner Nick Nichola in a news release.

The firms say they have been in discussions for several months and expect formal proposals to be presented to both partnerships later in 2012.

A company that has grown through mergers

Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart was founded in 1946, and merged with London-based Nicholson Graham & Jones Ltd. in 2005 to become Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham.

On January 1, 2007, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham merged with Seattle-based Preston Gates & Ellis to form Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis. The name was later shortened to simply K&L Gates.

In January 2008, K&L Gates combined with Hughes & Luce, a Dallas-based firm of 150 attorneys with offices in Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth.

In July 2008 K&L Gates combined with Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman LLP, a North Carolina-based firm of 200 attorneys with offices in Charlotte, Raleigh and Research Triangle Park.

On March 1, 2009, K&L Gates merged with Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, a Chicago based firm with approximately 215 attorneys with offices in Chicago, San Diego and Washington, D.C.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh is of counsel to the firm's Washington office.

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