Exclusive: U.S. law firm Patton Boggs voting on merger with Squire Sanders

Tue May 20, 2014 7:38pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Law firm leaders at Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C., were tallying votes on Tuesday on a proposed merger with Squire Sanders, a deal that is expected to be approved and that would provide financial relief to struggling Patton Boggs.

While votes submitted by partners of the 300-lawyer Patton Boggs were still being counted, three sources close to the deal said it is widely expected that the partnership will approve the proposed merger.

The executive board of 1,300-lawyer Squire Sanders voted on Friday to approve the merger. However, that firm's partners must still approve the deal. They are expected to vote on it this week.

The new firm, which would be the 23rd largest law firm in the United States by revenue, would be named Squire Patton Boggs, effective June 1.

Neither Patton Boggs managing partner Edward Newberry, who would be co-managing partner of the new firm, nor James Maiwurm, chairman of Squire Sanders, responded to requests for comment.

Patton Boggs has been ranked the No. 1 lobbying shop in terms of revenue for the past 12 years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit which compiles lobbying disclosure data. The firm has represented Amazon.com, Facebook, Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp., according to the center.

Squire Sanders has 39 offices worldwide and counts among its clients Barclays Plc, BP Plc, DuPont, and General Electric Co., according to its website.

Patton Boggs has been in discussions with Squire Sanders since at least February, after seeing revenue wane and partners defect in 2013.

Under the proposed deal, at least 24 of Patton Boggs' roughly 150 partners would take pay cuts, be demoted or not be invited to join the new firm, according to one former Patton Boggs lawyer. Other attorneys at the firm, though, would get pay raises, he said.   Continued...

A general view of the front entrance for law firm Patton Boggs LLC, in Washington, March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Theiler