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Blackwell Sanders and Husch & Eppenberger, both based in Missouri, are in merger talks to create a 630-attorney law firm. Leaders from Blackwell Sanders and Husch & Eppenberger said in a joint statement that they are in the early stages, “with serious intentions,” of a possible merger. Blackwell Sanders, based in Kansas City, Mo., has about 330 attorneys, while Hush & Eppenberger, based in St. Louis, has about 300 attorneys. The deal would create the second largest firm in Missouri. The largest firm with its origins there is 800-attorney Bryan Cave, which has about 250 lawyers in St. Louis. Blackwell Sanders’ focus in corporate, and Husch’s strength is in litigation. The combined firm would have 16 offices, including one in London. Blackwell Sanders’ gross revenue for 2006 was $116.5 million, with profits per partner averaging $455,000, according to The American Lawyer, an affiliate of The National Law Journal. Husch & Eppenberger’s gross revenue last year was $124 million, and its profits per partner were $470,000. Joseph P. Conran, chairman of Husch & Eppenberger’s management committee, described the possible deal as a “compelling fit.” The firms expect a decision and announcement before the end of the year.

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