The first three quarters of 2015 were on fire for U.S. law firm mergers: The law firm M&A tally was higher than the first three quarters of any given year over the past nine years, according to the legal consultancy Altman Weil.
The finding highlights the ongoing consolidation taking place, as law firms poach from competitors or simply acquire whole firms that likely wouldn’t survive on their own, or that view linking up with a bigger firm with a broader geographic reach as the best strategy amid uncertain business conditions. For the third quarter, Altman Weil said that there were 20 law firm combinations in the U.S. announced. Sixty eight deals, however, occurred from the beginning of January through the end of September, constituting the highest number that the consultancy has recorded during that time period in nine years — which is how long ago it started tracking law firm merger activity. The bigger merger annoucements, including Dentons’ disclosure that it would combine with China’s Dacheng Law Offices to create a 6,000 lawyer behemoth, took place earlier in the year.