Hogan & Hartson and Lovells are considering one of the riskiest maneuvers in the legal business — a trans-Atlantic merger, which in this case would create a global megafirm of more than 2,500 lawyers.

That strategy can work (see DLA Piper) or turn to brass (see Clifford Chance). If Lovells and Hogan do merge, they’ll move from large — but not supersized — players to one of the world’s 10 largest firms. Together, they would have $1.9 billion in revenues, prominent corporate and litigation groups, an insurance practice (currently Lovells’) that serves clients such as Prudential and Swiss Reinsurance Co., and Hogan’s top-tier regulatory practice and client list that includes News Corp., International Business Machines Corp. and KPMG International.

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