Ropes & Gray and Proskauer Rose are exploring the possibility of setting up shop in Chicago next year in an effort to bring their private equity practices to a new market, according to sources familiar with the law firms’ plans.

Ropes & Gray, with roots in Boston, and Proskauer Rose, founded in New York, both have developed extensive practices in the private equity area, helping clients create such funds, invest in them and pursue various fund-related transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. Spokesmen for the firms declined to comment.

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