Dewey and Orrick Reach Major Milestone in Merger Discussions

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NEW YORK, Oct. 25 -Dewey Ballantine LLP and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, two leading global law firms, announced today that the firms' respective Management and Executive Committees have made initial recommendations to their partners about combining into a new firm named Dewey Orrick LLP that will retain Orrick's well-known "O" brand. Ralph Baxter, Orrick's current Chairman, and Morton A. Pierce, Dewey's current Chairman, would serve as Co-Chairmen, with Mr. Baxter serving as the new firm's Presiding Partner.

    The firms' merger is dependent on the finalization of terms, ongoing due diligence and approval by a vote of each firm's partners which the firms expect to obtain by mid-December.

    Dewey Orrick would count 1,500 lawyers in 21 offices across North America, Europe, and Asia. With combined revenue of approximately US$1 billion, the firm would rank among the top ten U.S. law firms on "The Am Law 100," an annual survey conducted by The American Lawyer. Almost one-third of the firm's lawyers would reside outside the United States, and at 500 lawyers, Dewey Orrick would have the seventh-largest New York office of any law firm.

    "The Dewey Orrick merger would anticipate the future needs of our clients, and position the combined firm as one of the world's premier law firms," Mr. Baxter said. "Globally dominant legal providers will be characterized by market-leading practice groups, with a particular strength in M&A, finance and litigation; by having significant operations in all the world's leading commercial and financial centers; and by attracting and retaining top legal talent due to their superior economic performance. All of these characteristics would mark Dewey Orrick."

    "This merger will change the face of the legal industry, serving as a model of what law firms need to look like in order to anticipate their clients' needs in a national and international marketplace," Mr. Pierce said. "Clients will need law firms that are innovative and creative in the way they run their businesses and in the ways in which they partner with their clients."

    Each firm is known for its class-leading transactional and litigation practices. The combined firm would receive the fifth-most top-ten rankings across all transaction categories on The American Lawyer's annual "Corporate Scorecard" survey, including ranking as the #1 M&A firm for investment advisors, the #1 underwriter's and bond counsel for municipal bonds, and among the top 10 firms for IPOs for underwriters. The combined firm would have one of the largest tax departments of any general practice law firm, with attorneys practicing a full spectrum of corporate tax work. The National Law Journal named Orrick to its annual "Defense Hot List" of the top 10 defense litigation practices, and The American Lawyer also ranked Orrick among its "Distinguished Dozen" of elite litigation groups. Dewey's litigation practice is a global leader, having litigated many of the most important antitrust, intellectual property, corporate fraud, securities, international trade and sports litigations in history.

    About Orrick

    Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, an international law firm with 950 lawyers in North America, Europe and Asia, was founded in 1863. The firm focuses on litigation, complex and novel finance and innovative corporate transactions. Orrick clients include Fortune 100 companies, major industrial and financial corporations, commercial and investment banks, high-growth companies, governmental entities, start-ups and individuals. The firm's 18 offices are located in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, London, Milan, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Pacific Northwest, Sacramento, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.

    About Dewey Ballantine

    Dewey Ballantine LLP, an international law firm with 550 lawyers located in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, East Palo Alto, Austin, London, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Milan, Rome and Beijing, was founded in 1909. Through its network of offices, the firm handles some of the largest, most complex corporate transactions, litigation and tax matters in areas such as M&A, private equity, project finance, corporate finance, corporate reorganization and bankruptcy, antitrust, intellectual property, sports law, structured finance and international trade. Industry specializations include energy and utilities, healthcare, insurance, financial services, media, consumer and industrial goods, consumer electronics, technology, telecommunications and transportation.
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