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URGE TO MERGE - And you thought there might not be any get-togethers this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed law firm mergers significantly in 2020, according to two new reports, analysts say firms are eager to grow again in 2021, Law.com’s Andrew Maloney reports. The experts cite “extremely high” interest in combination talks—including for large firm mergers—and a desire to return to pre-pandemic strategy. Tom Clay, a principal at Altman Weil who worked on the MergerLine report, said some aspects of the combination process are still lagging behind where they might normally be “because the pipeline got shut down and the research got shut down” when the pandemic hit last spring. But he said firms are itching to start assessing the landscape again for combination targets. “They’re telling us right now, ‘Go full-bore,’” Clay said. “But having said that, there’s just not enough in the pipeline right now to say, ‘Oh yeah, we should get back to normal.’”