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Long Aldridge & Norman plans to merge with Washington, D.C.-based McKenna & Cuneo on June 1, creating a 376-lawyer firm with eight offices. The two firms, which are roughly the same size, had discussed a merger for about 15 months, said Long Aldridge Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Clay C. Long. Several client conflicts held up the talks, Long added, but the firms resolved those issues last week. The new firm, McKenna Long & Aldridge, will be managed initially by representatives of both firms, said Long. McKenna & Cuneo has 193 attorneys in offices in Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Denver, Brussels and Philadelphia. Long Aldridge has about 183 lawyers in Atlanta and Washington. Long said McKenna’s environmental, white-collar crime, insurance coverage and government contracts groups complement Long Aldridge’s own practice areas. “It was an opportunity to bring in skill sets and services that we didn’t have,” Long said. “These were all things we didn’t do or didn’t do much of.” For example, Long Aldridge has eight or 10 environmental lawyers but McKenna has 30, Long said. About 60 of McKenna’s lawyers work in the firm’s government contracts practice. While Long Aldridge is a firm with policy advisers, a government affairs group and a lobbying function, McKenna is “apolitical,” said a Long Aldridge spokeswoman. The McKenna firm has no lobbying group and does government contract and some regulatory work. Last year, Long Aldridge rehired Gordon Giffin, former U.S. ambassador to Canada. The firm also hired Eric J. Tanenblatt as a senior adviser to its government affairs practice. Tenenblatt ran President George W. Bush’s campaign in Georgia. Keith W. Mason, Tanenblatt’s counterpart in former Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign in Georgia, leads the firm’s government affairs practice. McKenna approached Long Aldridge about the merger because of its strong transactional practice. About half of the firm’s attorneys do corporate, real estate finance and health care transaction work. Last year, Long Aldridge’s revenue was about $74 million. The firm’s $24 million net income translates into $510,638 profits per equity partner in 2001. McKenna & Cuneo earned $99.5 million in revenue, $22.5 million in net income and profits per equity partner of $452,000 in 2001. Long Aldridge starts its first-year associates at $100,000; McKenna offers them $110,000. The combined revenue of $173.5 million would have placed McKenna Long & Aldridge fourth on the 2001 Fulton County Daily Report Dozen, the newspaper’s ranking of the 12 highest-grossing Atlanta-based firms. With nearly 400 lawyers, the merged firm also would be the fourth largest Atlanta-based firm if its headquarters remains in Atlanta. In 2001, Long Aldridge was eighth on the Daily Report Dozen and was the ninth largest firm on the list. NO HOME BASE? But McKenna Long & Aldridge might not be headquartered in Atlanta. Long said the firm won’t have a headquarters. McKenna Long & Aldridge’s Atlanta office will be the largest, with 170 attorneys and about 10 policy advisers, but the firm also will have 120 attorneys in Washington and 90 in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Sixteen lawyers will be in Denver, six in Brussels and one in Philadelphia. For now, the firm’s management will be split between McKenna and Long Aldridge attorneys, with Long and McKenna firmwide Managing Partner James J. Gallagher serving as co-chairmen. Jeffrey K. Haidet, Long Aldridge’s president and chief operating officer, will be vice-chairman with Raymond B. Biagini, who is a member of McKenna’s management committee. Haidet and Biagini’s responsibilities will include managing client services, training, recruiting and marketing. Long Aldridge Managing Partner Thomas D. Hall and Thomas C. Papson, also a member of McKenna’s management committee, will serve as co-managing partners and will handle the firm’s financial operations. Long, Haidet and Hall work in Atlanta; Biagini and Papson are in Washington. Gallagher works in McKenna’s Los Angeles office. Long said the firms’ partners approved the merger after several votes at different stages of the discussions. OTHER TALKS The McKenna talks cooled off when Dallas-based Winstead, Sechrest & Minick, a firm twice the size of Long Aldridge, started courting the Atlanta firm last spring. The Winstead merger talks fizzled because the two firms couldn’t work out some differences, Long said. But last fall, Long said, “We sort of reaffirmed our interest” in merging with McKenna. In January, McKenna and Long Aldridge told associates of the merger talks. Since the beginning of 2002, both firms have been trying to resolve client conflicts. Ultimately, the firms will have to limit the work done for some clients, Long said. He added that any work restrictions will not present a “major income hit” and that no “multimillion-dollar clients” will leave either firm.

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