Reed Smith and Richards Butler announce intent to merge

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Reed Smith, a US-based, top-25 international law firm with nearly 1100 lawyers, and Richards Butler, a London-based, top-30 UK and international law firm with more than 250 lawyers, today announced they have signed a Letter of Intent to combine the firms.  Subject to due diligence, negotiation of a merger agreement and votes by both partnerships scheduled in late May, the merger would elevate the combined entity to one of the 20 largest global law firms, with more than 1300 lawyers and offices on three continents.

“Both firms have agreement from their boards to complete due diligence and present the proposed combination for a partner vote,” said Gregory B. Jordan, Reed Smith’s firmwide Managing Partner.  “We look forward to working with Richards Butler over the next several weeks in our efforts to combine these two great firms.”

The anticipated combination is aligned with Reed Smith’s well-developed expansion strategy. “Over the past several years, we have grown from a US mid-Atlantic firm to an international firm with offices on the west coast and east coast of the United States and a strong presence in Europe,” said Mr. Jordan. “This growth has been driven by our need to provide expanded capabilities to our clients.  The proposed merger creates a powerful litigation and corporate law firm on both sides of the Atlantic, with a significantly strengthened London platform positioning us for further expansion into Europe and the Middle and Far East.”

The overall firm will be known as Reed Smith, although there will be variations in certain markets in Europe using the name Reed Smith Richards Butler, which is the name under which the firm will operate in the UK.

Richards Butler, an 86-year-old internationally recognized firm, advises clients in many industry sectors, from offices in London, Paris, Piraeus and Abu Dhabi. The proposed merger will nearly double the number of lawyers in Reed Smith’s new Paris office and the firm will gain its first offices in the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi and in Greece.  

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