These are tough times for the legal profession. Here in Washington, DC, one of the lawyer-capitals of the world, it’s difficult to go a block without running into a recently graduated law student who’s looking for a job. In these tough times, many law firms, large and small, are looking for a way to grow their business. Two firms that are looking to grow externally are Lovells and Hogan & Hartson. Their potential merger would create one of the world’s largest law firms with over 2500 professionals. While they share the common thread of regulatory and antitrust work, the merger is based on geographic expansion. Lovells wants access to the US market and Hogan wants more access to Europe, while both are seeking to expand their presence in Asia.
Geographic expansion may make sense if you carefully target your strategic partner and perform the necessary diligence on that geographic market. If it’s a fit, new customers (or clients) can easily become accessible.