Correction, 8/17/12, 6:45 p.m. EDT: The original version of this article included an incorrect number for how many lawyers Middletons has. The first paragraph of the article has been revised to include the correct number, 283. We regret the error.

Three months ago, reports surfaced that K&L Gates was holding merger talks with multiple firms in Australia. Now, the Am Law 100 firm with roots in Pittsburgh confirms it is in discussions with 283-lawyer Melbourne-based Middletons about a potential combination, making it the latest Am Law firm in line to establish a footprint Down Under.

“Our leadership teams believe that the client-driven consolidation and globalization evident in the market for legal services will continue unabated and the potential synergies that would arise from the combination of our firms deserve (and are receiving) serious consideration,” K&L Gates chairman and global managing partner Peter Kalis and Middletons national managing partner Nick Nichola said in a joint statement issued Thursday.

The firms said their discussions began several months ago and that formal proposals could go to their respective partnerships before the end of the year, assuming the two sides can reach an agreement,

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