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09/22/06

Dewey and Orrick explore options for possible merger


The latest buzz making the rounds in the nation's legal circles is the possible merger of New York-based Dewey Ballantine and San Francisco-based Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. If that rumor becomes fact, it will create a 1200-lawyer strong law firm, one of the country's largest, with revenue reaching the $1 billion mark.

With merger discussions still in progress, there is no concrete conclusion about the final decision or of things to come. However, both the law firms are well aware of each other's strengths. Dewey Ballantine's specialty is representing investment banks in M&A, while Orrick's corporate strength is in representing underwriters and issuers of municipal bonds, asset-backed securities, and mortgage-backed securities. If the merger happens, the newly created law firm will be the largest multifaceted firm with diversified practices areas covering major destinations of the world.

Both law firms have had impressive growth in the current financial year. Since last year, Orrick has recorded an increase of 14% in its turnover to $554m, and Dewey Ballantine has registered an increase of 3 percent in its turnover to $392m. The possible merger would have the benefit for Dewey Ballantine of assisting in its efforts to spread operations across Europe. Last year, Orrick Herrington took over part of the operations of Paris firm Ram-baud Martel, and acquired control of London and Moscow offices of Coudert Brothers.

Crowell & Moring embarks on dual growth strategy
Janet M. Macleod, former attorney at Dorsey & Whitney, joined the intellectual practice group of the firm.

During his tenure at Arent Fox, McSherry served as lead trial counsel in several litigations involving insurance-backed film finance transactions. Macleod focused her practice on the acquisition and enforcement of patents for clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemical industries, and in academic research institutions. Macleod is an expert in counseling on patent issues including infringement, validity, freedom to operate, licensing, and business development.

The recent initiative by the firm is part of an effort to expand its client base and increase revenue. In future, Crowell & Moring's New York office intends to expand some of the firm's core practice groups, such as the Antitrust, Corporate, Intellectual Property, Litigation, and White Collar & Securities Litigation Groups. Based in Washington, D.C., the firm also has offices in Brussels, Irvine, California, and London.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

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