Calling it a “surprisingly quiet” start on the merger front, a new report this week found merger activity in the first quarter of 2022 declined from last year and is well below the historical average in what is normally the busy season for completing law firm combinations.

The consulting firm Fairfax Associates tallied 14 completed mergers in the first quarter of 2022. That’s down from 17 last year and noticeably less than the 10-year average of 22 in the first quarter, said Fairfax, attributing the decline to pandemic pressures and high legal services demand.