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Chicago — Reed Smith, a firm with 1,100 attorneys founded in Pittsburgh in 1877, announced on Monday that it reached an agreement to merge with Sachnoff & Weaver, giving the firm a new foothold in the Chicago market. Sachnoff & Weaver is based in Chicago with about 150 attorneys and doesn’t have offices outside the city. The firms’ negotiations have been under way since March and follow Reed Smith’s unsuccessful bid to merge with Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon last year. The boards of both firms unanimously approved the combination and partners will vote on it in November. The firm expects the merger to become effective in March. The firm already has offices in London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, San Francisco and Washington, among others. The firm will be called Reed Smith Sachnoff Weaver in Illinois with the assumption that the name will be shortened in two years. The firm will still be known as Reed Smith elsewhere in the country. To be a truly global firm serving clients with global demands the firm had to be in Chicago, said Gregory Jordan, chairman of Reed Smith. Sachnoff & Weaver attorney group was a good fit for Reed Smith partly because the lawyers have worked together for many years and have a similar sense of teamwork, he said. “We think it’s important for us to be in the key centers and this is one of them,” Jordan said. Reed Smith had approached Sachnoff & Weaver last year, but the smaller firm wasn’t interested at that time. Sachnoff & Weaver reviewed a list of possible merger candidates over the past year and half. Michael LoVallo, president of Sachnoff & Weaver, said, “Our two firms have highly compatible cultures, closely aligned practice groups, and a commitment to clients that we know will facilitate a smooth transition and integration.” Reed Smith recorded a gross revenue of $503.5 million in 2004, according to the AmLaw 100 survey, a survey of the largest firms in the United States performed by The American Lawyer magazine, an affiliate of The National Law Journal.

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