On 1 May, international law firms Hogan & Hartson LLP and Lovells LLP combined to establish one of the world’s biggest law firms.
The merger was announced in December 2009 and according to the firms came as a response to large multinational clients’ increasing need for high-quality legal advice on complex, cross-border transactions, disputes and commercial matters.
With more than 2,500 lawyers in over 40 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, it is estimated that Hogan Lovells will have revenues approaching $2 billion.
Of the 31 areas of business law in over 100 countries covered by Who’s Who Legal, the merged firm now appears in 26 of these sectors, with 128 practitioners listed in 28 offices. In terms of our research, it is the fifth-largest firm, bettered only by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy and Linklaters.
Former Lovells managing partner David Harris, now co-CEO of the new firm, said: “Hogan Lovells presents a compelling proposition to our clients and to the market more generally. The new firm will have unrivalled global capability and distinctive strengths in dispute resolution, regulatory, antitrust, corporate, finance, intellectual property and real estate. It will also provide clients with access to considerable industry knowledge and resource in key sectors, including energy, financial services, telecommunications, media and technology, life sciences and pharmaceutical, consumer goods, real estate, natural resources and infrastructure.”
Hogan Lovells in Who’s Who Legal
The combined firm should be considered among the market leaders in more than one practice area, with strong footholds in some of the world’s leading markets.
Eighty-three of Hogan Lovells lawyers we recommend are based in Europe – 38 of whom are in London. Of the 31 lawyers we identify in the USA, most are based in Washington, DC. Elsewhere, Who’s Who Legal lists eight lawyers in Asia, four in South America and Rahail Ali in Dubai from the combined firm.
Lovells has been named Who’s Who Legal Insurance and Reinsurance Law Firm of the Year on six consecutive occasions, every year since the award’s inception. Ten former Lovells partners appear in this practice area.
Our Life Sciences publication includes 17 lawyers from Hogan Lovells, where it stands alongside Bird & Bird as the a pre-eminent player in the sector.
Competition is another key strength for Hogan Lovells. With 12 lawyers represented in our Competition listing, the new firm ranks alongside some of the sector’s leading players.
Eight lawyers from Hogan Lovells appear in our research for commercial litigation – making them the third largest contingent from any firm worldwide. Hogan Lovells is also well represented in the Internet & e-Commerce, Oil & Gas and Regulatory Communications publications.
Prior to the merger, both firms were selected for the “Who’s Who Legal 70”; our annual list that highlights the world’s 70 leading law practices.
Departures and transitions
Although the merger has allowed Hogan & Hartson and Lovells to move from being two top 30 global law firms into a single top 10 entity, the merged firm is smaller than the sum of its party.
In early March, 38 lawyers left Hogan & Hartson’s Warsaw office to establish a new office of K&L Gates LLP. Not long after, the firm announced that the lawyers in its Berlin office would divide into two firms: Hogan Lovells and a new Berlin-based German firm named Raue.
On the 30th of March, Lovells announced the closure of its seven-partner Chicago office - affecting two lawyers from the Who’s Who Legal research - and in April, Hogan & Hartson LLP revealed that the seven lawyers working in its Geneva office would also be leaving to establish the new local office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
Commenting on the Geneva departures, the chairman of Hogan & Hartson, Warren Gorrell, said: “While we are sorry to see these lawyers leave, and we wish them well, their departure will not impact our plans or prospects. We continue to have extensive, highly regarded capabilities in international arbitration, tax, and international trade and these capabilities will be augmented further following our combination with Lovells. We remain excited and bullish as we move ahead with our combination planning and the upcoming launch of Hogan Lovells.”
In addition to the personnel changes, the firm made some structural preparations during the five-month lead-up to the merger, Hogan Lovells has introduced a membership board, which will have supervisory responsibility for overseeing the affairs of the firm, as well as an international management committee which will lead the firm’s strategic direction and will be responsible for managing all operations.
According to our research, the strength and reach of Hogan Lovells is far greater than that of the founder firms separately, with the benefit of several market-leading practices combined and a wider global presence.
In the context of our research, taken separately Hogan & Hartson and Lovells appeared in fewer practice areas than firms such as Clifford Chance, DLA Piper LLP and White & Case, but now the combined firm stands alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Baker & McKenzie as the firms that appear in the largest number of our publications.