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A new report by the consulting firm Altman Weil revealed that this year’s mergers and acquisitions of law firms from January through September were up 79% on the national level compared to the same period last year. However, the report also stated that in Pennsylvania, the number of those types of moves has remained steady.
Unlike the preceding year, there are no firms in Pittsburgh that have been involved so far in any mergers this year.
According to the same report, during the first nine months of 2011, law firms in the U.S. have been involved in 43 acquisitions and mergers, while there had been only 24 of those kinds of deals by this point in 2010.
Ward Bower, Altman Weil’s principal, said that the remarkable increase in mergers and acquisitions across the United States may be, at least partially, attributable to the release of “pent-up demand” after one of the worst economic crisis in history.
He said that firms in 2011 have been much more aggressive than they were in 2010 after seeing signs of improvement in the economy.
Bower said, “During the recession and in the immediate aftermath of the recession, firms were in what I’m going to call a ‘survival mode,’ not a strategy mode. Now that the economy has grown, they’re dusting off their strategies.”
He also said that many of those strategies seem to focus on geographic growth, as a number of mergers and acquisitions that happened over the past nine months were either interstate or international.