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Law firm mergers for the first half of 2007 totaled 37, four deals above merger activity for the same period in 2006, according to Hildebrandt International, a law firm consultancy. Chicago, New York and San Francisco were the top cities for domestic mergers. Chicago, with six mergers, had the largest combinations, with one deal struck between Drinker Biddle & Reath and Gardner Carton & Douglas and another reached between Reed Smith and Sachnoff & Weaver. The five mergers that occurred in New York were small, averaging only nine lawyers. The largest merger in California was in Palo Alto, with the combination of Schiff Hardin with Morgenstein & Jubelirer. The biggest merger so far this year was between Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham and Preston Gates & Ellis. Three cross-border mergers also took place in the first two quarters, including Reed Smith with U.K.-based Richards Butler.

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