Patton Boggs LLP has had a difficult time as of late, but naysayers should not easily dismiss this Beltway institution. While it is closing its NJ office, and has seen a double-digit revenue slide, it is still a contender and recognizes a key to its longevity and success is a merger. Currently it is in talks with Squire Sanders over a potential marriage that could create a roughly 1,700-lawyer international presence.
Could this be a good fit? Clearly both sides could benefit, with Squire gaining a significant presence in DC, and Patton Boggs could see both an immediate benefit in financial security as well as allowing it to expand dramatically with an international presence.
As we have seen in recent merger activity, those firms which are successful in this process manage to either find like-minded cultural approaches and atmospheres, or create a harmonious blend of cultures, picking the firmwide approaches that are seen beneficial to the new entity. Here, this may prove challenging, as Squire Sanders is basically comprised of a number of “individual firms” under it’s heading, and they each maintain separate finances. It is an interesting model, and is reminiscent of a larger corporate entity with a number of businesses within it. In 2011, Squire combined with Hammonds, LLP, and has been somewhat aggressively opening offices in Asia. Could the development of a strong and direct link between Asia and Washington, DC be a very smart strategic play? In my opinion, it clearly works in theory. Let’s see if it works in practice.