Archive: January, 2012
The legal consulting firm Altman Weil reports that law firm mergers increased 53 percent across the nation last year, following a sharp drop off in 2009 and 2010. Four Philadelphia area firms acquired law firms outside the city last year. They are Fox Rothschild, which picked up a small intellectual property group in downtown Los Angeles, Saul Ewing, which added lawyers in Boston, Blank Rome, which expanded in Houston, and Archer Greiner of Haddonfield, which merged with the north Jersey firm of Herten Burstein.
There were 60 law firm mergers across the nation last year, Altman Weil said, matching exactly the number of mergers in 2007, when the legal business still was booming. Mergers increased to 70 in 2008, reflecting deals that already were in the pipeline, but dropped off sharply after that.
The renewed interest in mergers and geographic expansion reflects new confidence by firms that the worst of the decline in the legal market place is past, at least for now.
Arlin Adams is one of the city's best known and distinguished lawyers and now after a career that began in 1947 at Schader Harrison, he has decied to retire and devote more of his time to personal interests. To many lawyers in Philadelphia, Adams, a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, was the soul of judicial and lawyerly discernment. Certainly, many political leaders thought of him that way. He was close to former Gov. William Scranton and former President Nixon and an advisor to former Reagan confidante and Philadelphia publisher Walter Annenberg. Officially, his last day at the firm was Dec. 30. But firm insiders say it is a safe bet he will still be regularly seen in the corridors of Schnader Harrison.