Hogan & Hartson Approve Merger Deal with Lovells


Posted on December 9, 2009 at 8:12 PM

The partners at Hogan & Hartson have voted to merge with Lovells. With the successful vote, the two firms will become Hogan Lovells from May 1, 2010, forming a top 10 global practice with 2,500 lawyers and revenues of around $1.8 billion.

Lovells managing partner David Harris and Hogan chairman Warren Gorrell will become co-chief executives till 2014. Lovells senior partner John Young and Hogan corporate and project finance partner Claudette Christian will take the role of co-chairman.

Gorrell and Harris have stated that the new firm will pioneer a new kind of legal practice, one in which the global reach of magic circle firms is combined with a more diverse practice coverage and a greater industry focus. Besides its banking and corporate practices, the Hogan Lovells will be strong in the regulatory, antitrust, intellectual property, real estate and litigation areas.

Gorrell commented: "We are putting together a new kind of firm - not a Washington or UK-based firm but truly a different kind of firm."

"The proposition is unique - we will be able to attract new business going forward," stated Harris, "We will have scale and a profile that will be much more powerful."

The merged firm will have two operational centers, one in London and one in Washington DC, and a total of 40 offices worldwide. It will be modeled after a US-based limited liability partnership and a UK/international LLP, with a Swiss Verein acting as an umbrella body for firmwide governance and cost-sharing.

The model will have the firms maintain separate partnerships and block direct profit-sharing, but the firms will share remuneration policies, with Lovells phasing in Hogan’s performance-based model for partner pay over the next four years.

Both firms will also retain their accounting model, with Hogan using its December year-end and cash accounting model and Lovells using the UK standard an April year-end and accrual accounting.

The goals for Hogan Lovells is to build up its presence in Asia and the Middle East, in addition to branching out into the Latin American market. The firm is also looking to expand its New York office.

Despite the size of the merger, Gorrell said that there appeared to be virtually no conflicts. He added: "We have found very few conflicts and none that seem insurmountable. We have got a lot of positive feedback [from clients]."

The deal will be watched by peers to see if US/UK mergers can be successful.

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