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In its latest survey of the 250 largest firms in the country, The National Law Journal found that merger mania continues to reshape the industry. When the NLJ (a sibling publication of Corporate Counsel) conducted its annual poll in September, eight firms previously among the 250 biggest had disappeared because they had merged or been acquired. The splashiest hookup was the July wedding of Boston-based Bingham Dana and San Francisco’s McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. The newly christened Bingham McCutchen is now the country’s twenty-fourth-largest firm, with 806 lawyers. Lisa Smith, a consultant with Hildebrandt International, also sees another trend in the merger between Washington, D.C.-based Hogan & Hartson and New York’s Squadron Ellenoff Plesent & Sheinfeld, and the linkup between Los Angeles-based O’Melveny & Myers and New York’s O’Sullivan. Both marriages demonstrate that even midsize New York-based firms now feel the need to hook up with a larger partner in order to survive, Smith says.

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