While large lateral groups and boutique tie-ups gained momentum last year, more sizable combinations were announced at least once a week in January, reflecting a common desire among law firm leaders for more transformational growth.

The legal industry’s deal sheet has been plentiful since the start of the year: Atlanta-based Smith, Gambrell & Russell is merging with Chicago-born Freeborn & Peters; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is combining with Washington, D.C.-founded Buckley; and Holland & Knight is joining Nashville’s Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. Maynard Cooper & Gale in Alabama is also linking up with Carolinas-based Nexsen Pruet.

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