MIDDLING MERGER MOVEMENT -  Merger activity in the legal industry picked up in 2022 following a period of pandemic-era hesitancy, according to a new report released Tuesday. Still, as Law.com’s Justin Henry reports, while the volume of mergers has continued to increase over the last three years, the 2022 figure still trails the average of 55 mergers per year over the last decade, the report found. A total of 46 law firm combinations were tracked as having been completed in 2022, up from 41 in 2021 and 40 in 2020, according to the report from Fairfax Associates. Mergers were most concentrated in the midsize and small law firm sector while cross-border merger activities were more limited than in previous years. Despite the downturn in overall mergers, industry observers note that in breaking down the number of combinations by geography, the 44 domestic mergers show a gradual increase in the direction of historical averages. This figure was significantly higher than the 32 tracked in 2021.

FLIGHT FIGHT - Right on schedule: Southwest Airlines is facing the first of what likely will become a deluge of class action lawsuits stemming from operational problems that forced it to cancel more than 15,000 flights late last month, Law.com’s Chris O’Malley reports. After winter storms grounded many Southwest planes in places such as Chicago and Denver, the airline’s outdated scheduling software struggled to match crews with planes, leaving thousands of passengers traveling around Christmas without a plane to board. The first case was filed by Eric Capdeville, of Marrero, Louisiana, who in October bought tickets for himself and daughter to travel to Portland, Oregon, on Dec. 27. After canceling the flight, Southwest offered him a credit on a future flight. In the lawsuit, filed Dec. 30 in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, Capdeville alleges the airline’s contract of carriage doesn’t allow for credits but rather a seat on the next available flight or a full refund. Representing Capdeville is the law firm of Jim S. Hall & Associates of Metairie, Louisiana.

ON THE RADAR - Greenberg Traurig filed a trade secret lawsuit Tuesday in Massachusetts District Court on behalf of NovaSparks Inc. and its parent company NovaSpark SAS, which are developers of field programmable gate array market data solutions. The suit targets competitor Exegy Inc. for misappropriating confidential information in violation of its confidentiality agreement and for usurping NovaSparks’ business opportunities with third parties. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 1:23-cv-10006, NovaSparks, Inc. et al v. Exegy, Inc. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar


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