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Philadelphia’s Drinker Biddle & Reath gained a 10-lawyer New York office with its agreement to merge yesterday with 111-attorney, litigation-rich Shanley & Fisher of Morristown, N.J., The two firms, which together will have 360 lawyers and expected revenues of $125 million, had been in serious discussions since February, Drinker chief financial officer Clifford Swain said. Ernst & Young, the consultant on the merger, put together favorable financial projections – 5 percent to 10 percent profit increases for both firms if they became one – in late July. While gaining a New York office was not a central goal of the merger, Drinker securities, insurance counseling, bankruptcy andinternational transactions lawyers had been lobbying for a New York presence, Mr. Swain said.

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