Law firm Squire Sanders suspends merger vote with Patton Boggs: reports

Thu May 22, 2014 2:34pm EDT
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By Casey Sullivan

(Reuters) - Law firm Squire Sanders has suspended voting on merger talks with the Washington, D.C., law and lobbying firm Patton Boggs, trade publication American Lawyer reported on Thursday.

Two days ago, partners from the 300-lawyer Patton Boggs voted on the proposed merger with the 1,300-lawyer Squire Sanders. The results of the vote have not yet been disclosed, but sources on Tuesday told Reuters the merger was expected to be approved.

The executive board of Squire Sanders voted on Friday to approve the merger and that firm's partnership had been expected to vote on the deal this week.

American Lawyer cited two unidentified Squire Sanders sources as saying the vote had been suspended, and the Wall Street Journal reported that a spokesman for the firm had confirmed the report.

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.

American Lawyer attributed the development to a motion filed Wednesday night by a group of Ecuadorean villagers. The motion urged a judge to reconsider his acceptance of a settlement resolving claims that Patton Boggs tried to enforce a fraudulent multibillion-dollar pollution judgment against Chevron Corp.

Patton Boggs agreed on May 7 to pay Chevron $15 million to settle allegations that it represented a group of Ecuadorean villagers seeking to enforce a fraudulent 2011 $18 billion judgment awarded for damages to their country's rainforest.

Patton Boggs agreed to cooperate with Chevron in discovery related to the case and expressed regret for its involvement in the matter.   Continued...

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