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The once-venerable New York real estate firm Battle Fowler is expected to finalize plans to join forces with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker by the end of the week. Partners at the 103-year-old Battle Fowler voted on Monday in favor of combining with the Los Angeles-based Paul Hastings. While some details remain to be worked out, the current plan is for 24 of Battle Fowler’s 61 partners to join Paul Hastings as equity partners and for several additional Battle Fowler partners to go to Paul Hastings in other capacities. The future of the remaining Battle Fowler partners has not been announced. Most of Battle Fowler’s 90 associates are also expected to go to Paul Hastings. “Things are moving along on target,” said Seth Zachary, Paul Hastings’ managing partner in New York. “We hope to close within a few days.” The deal will significantly boost the 616-attorney Paul Hastings’ presence in New York. The firm already has an office of 100 lawyers in the city; the additional Battle Fowler lawyers will bring Paul Hasting’s New York office to well over 200 attorneys. For now, the firms have still not decided on what the deal will be called, but insist that the term “merger” is inaccurate. “It is a combination of some Battle Fowler practice groups with Paul Hastings,” offered Zachary. He added that the mood at Paul Hastings is celebratory. “We are so excited about the prospect of being together.” The Battle Fowler attorneys making the move include lawyers in the real estate, corporate and bankruptcy practices. Once the deal closes, Paul Hastings will have a firmwide real estate practice of more than 150 attorneys, making it one of the largest in the country. With offices in nine cities worldwide, Paul Hastings was ranked as the 28th largest grossing firm by The American Lawyer last July, based on the firm’s 1998 earnings. In addition to New York and Los Angeles, Paul Hastings has offices in Atlanta, Orange County, Calif., San Francisco, Stamford, Conn., Washington, D.C., London and Tokyo. Paul Hastings reports 1999 revenues of $286 million and profits per partner of $675,000, up from $625,000 in 1998. By comparison, Battle Fowler was ranked by The American Lawyer as the 164th highest-grossing firm last July, based on 1998 earnings; its profits-per-partner averaged $540,000 in 1998. The century-old Battle Fowler has been involved in some of the more notable real estate matters of the last decade. Last November, partner Peter Olsen represented the Clintons when they purchased a $1.7 million home in Chappaqua, N.Y. In the early 1990s, the firm also represented partners of Harry and Leona Helmsley who successfully fought them to control the Helmsley Palace.

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