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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

MERGER BADNESS - While people are social distancing, law firms are also staying far away from each other. As David Thomas reports, two separate surveys this week—one from Altman Weil and the other from Fairfax Associates—made clear that COVID-19 has ground merger mania to a halt, with no movement visible on the horizon. Both reports found merger activity was down for the first half of 2020, with Fairfax also noting that the only merger set to be completed in Q3 was between Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton. That tie-up became official yesterday, but only after a number of pandemic-related challenges, including a delayed start date and pay cuts by both legacy firms. Still, both Altman Weil and Fairfax said law firms have not nixed mergers from their strategic plans altogether, they’ve just put a pin in the idea until the economy regains some stability.

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