It’s been a spell since we’ve had a big Biglaw merger. However the rumors we had been speaking about again in April have lastly come to move and Arent Fox and Schiff Hardin will probably be merging efficient March 1, 2022, to create ArentFox Schiff.
Laborious luck for Hardin.
After years of watching the Am Regulation second hundred lose floor, the companies apparently determined their futures required daring motion. With a reported $333.6 million and $173.9 million in income final 12 months, Arent Fox and Schiff Hardin respectively clocked in at 107th and 163rd on the Am Regulation 200. Merging these figures on the again of an envelope, the brand new agency would are available in round 77th on this 12 months’s listing, which Am Regulation says would place it between Crowell & Moring and Barnes & Thornburg.
However you’ll be able to’t essentially depend on again of the envelope measurements like that. Slapping income figures collectively ignores the potential of shedding enterprise on account of conflicts or redundancies, in addition to the potential of gaining enterprise on account of leveraging new sources. Arent Fox is nearly twice as large as Schiff Hardin, so the income hole doesn’t instantly sign some form of payment schedule disconnect — a standard downside in mergers. Arent Fox presently performs solely in pretty large markets — NYC, DC, LA, SF, and Boston. Schiff Hardin provides the Chicagoland presence between Chicago and Lake Forest, but additionally an outpost in Ann Arbor. Past that, its attorneys function in areas Arent Fox already works in. Will there be any fallout from the overlap in NYC, DC, SF, and the LA-area? Stays to be seen.
Nonetheless, the companies appear psyched in regards to the merger. As Arent Fox chair Anthony Lupo advised Am Regulation:
“It’s a compelling deal. I used to be most impressed with how complementary our practices are,” Lupo stated in an unique interview with The American Lawyer, explaining for instance that whereas Arent Fox is powerful in retail, Schiff brings energy in shopper merchandise, and Schiff’s environmental strengths complement Arent’s agricultural tech choices. “There have been so many areas that we had been lined up proper subsequent to one another. We had been each in the identical business, however we weren’t competing with one another. It was a really sturdy mixture.”
Is that this the beginning of one other wave of merger discuss? The consolidation bug subsided for some time as companies simply tried to maintain forward of COVID, however with issues settling down, the door could also be opening to extra Am Regulation 200 tie-ups. It may very well be an attention-grabbing 2022!
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Regulation and co-host of Pondering Like A Lawyer. Be happy to electronic mail any ideas, questions, or feedback. Comply with him on Twitter if you happen to’re excited about regulation, politics, and a wholesome dose of school sports activities information. Joe additionally serves as a Managing Director at RPN Government Search.