Reed Smith considering merger with Texas firm

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Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith, which has 150 lawyers in Philadelphia, is in early merger discussions with Dallas-based law firm Thompson & Knight, both firms confirmed Friday to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

"We are in preliminary merger discussions with Texas-based Thompson & Knight," said Reed Smith Managing Partner Greg Jordan in an e-mail. “The discussions are preliminary and no final agreement or partner vote has been reached or taken.”

Reed Smith has more than 1,500 lawyers, while Thompson & Knight has about 350 lawyers with a focus on the energy industry, including oil and gas, Jordan said.

Becky Jackson, chief client services officer at Thompson & Knight, offered the following statement in an e-mail:

“In today’s legal environment, Thompson & Knight’s historical presence in Texas and our outstanding energy expertise are sought after by firms. For several years, we have regularly received inquiries regarding possible mergers. We have had preliminary conversations with Reed Smith, and they are obviously a great firm, but it is premature to characterize these discussions in any detail.”

Under Jordan’s decade-long tenure, Reed Smith has grown from a Pittsburgh-centric 500-lawyer firm to an international firm three times the size through a series of major mergers and acquisitions. In 2001, the firm acquired 60-lawyer Warner Cranston of London. In January 2003, it acquired California’s 220-lawyer Crosby Heafey Roach & May. In 2007, the firm merged London’s 250-lawyer Richards Butler and 140-lawyer Sachnoff & Weaver of Chicago. And in January 2008, Reed Smith acquired 110-lawyer Richards Butler Hong Kong and 55 lawyers from New York’s Anderson Kill & Olick.

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