The COVID-19 pandemic slowed law firm mergers significantly in 2020, according to two new reports. But analysts who compiled the deal numbers say firms are eager to grow again in 2021, citing “extremely high” interest in combination talks—including for large firm mergers—and a desire to return to pre-pandemic strategy.

The latest MergerLine report from Altman Weil on Tuesday tallied 65 law firm acquisitions during the last calendar year, the lowest total since 2012. A report from Fairfax Associates last week tracked 41 mergers, the lowest in its dataset since 2010.