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M&A lawyers like their mergers large, and not just to increase their billable hours. Fenwick & West managing partner Gordon Davidson says they’re simpler, especially when the companies are publicly traded. “There’s less room for legal creativity,” said Davidson. “The bigger the deal, with public-public deals, the easier they are.” Davidson got a first-hand reminder of that recently. He and a host of other Fenwick lawyers represented software maker Macromedia Inc. in its acquisition by Adobe Systems Inc. for about $3.4 billion. Keith Flaum, a partner at Cooley Godward, which represented Adobe, said the deal’s relative simplicity didn’t mean it was easy. “I’ve pulled many all-nighters over my career, but I’ve never worked as much as I have in the past six days,” he said April 18. “Deals have different personalities. Some are intense, and extremely intensive, and this one clearly was not,” Flaum said. Both lawyers said similarities between the companies made often-sticky employment issues easy to deal with. And the software makers, Davidson said, went into the merger with the same ultimate goal: “Creating a strong new presence to compete with Microsoft and IBM.” The deal, which has been approved by the companies’ boards, is awaiting Securities and Exchange Commission approval. In addition to Flaum, Cooley’s 27-lawyer team included Palo Alto, Calif.-based partners Richard Climan, David Lipkin, Eric Jensen, John McKenna, Robert “Buff” Miller and Craig Waldman. San Francisco partners Thomas Reicher and Lois Voelz, both based in the San Francisco office, worked on employee benefits issues. The 12 Fenwick lawyers on the deal included Mountain View, Calif.-based Ralph Pais, Scott Spector, Mark Ostrau, Tyler Baker and Ronald Schrotenboer. Douglas Cogen, who works in San Francisco, and Robert Freedman, who works in Boise, Idaho, also worked on the deal.

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