Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Dykema Gossett is doing its part to accelerate the consolidation of the legal market in 2018. The Detroit-headquartered national firm announced Tuesday that it is swallowing up Washington, D.C.’s Loss, Judge & Ward, with plans to consummate a “strategic combination” with the litigation boutique Jan. 1, 2019.

The deal stands to double each firm’s D.C. presence. Dykema ranked 137th in the 2018 Am Law 200, with nearly 400 lawyers and more than $212 million gross annual revenues to its name. Loss Judge lists 12 lawyers on its website.

Dykema touted its “proven history of successful law firm integrations” in Tuesday’s announcement, which pointed to its offices in California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas and Washington, D.C. The firm’s D.C. office primarily focused on government relations work when it opened in 1978, but has since added a litigation team, a product safety and regulatory practice, and an IP practice handling trademark-related work.

“The combination of Dykema and Loss, Judge & Ward provides us a compelling opportunity to further grow the firm’s Washington, D.C., presence and enhance the offerings of our insurance industry group by adding more extremely talented and successful practitioners in that space,” said Peter Kellett, chairman and CEO of Dykema, in a statement.

Loss Judge’s commercial insurance litigation practice handles matters of general liability, professional liability and bad faith. The firm also serves as general counsel to the Commission on Presidential Debates, and managing partner Lewis Loss successfully argued on behalf of the commission, former President Barack Obama and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2017.

Loss’ win maintained the commission’s rules keeping third-party candidates off the televised debate stage.

Loss said in a statement Tuesday that Dykema’s national platform was particularly attractive for his firm. “Because the firm’s center of gravity is not on the high-cost East or West coasts, we will be able to maintain a rate structure that works well for our clients,” Loss said.

Earlier this fall, Dykema absorbed a three-lawyer IP team from Minnesota, Moore & Hansen, although it did not call that acquisition a merger. Tuesday’s deal comes approximately three years after Dykema combined with a Texas-based firm, Cox Smith.

Dykema’s move also comes on the heels of Washington, D.C.-based Venable’s combination with Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, a New York-based IP firm, last month. The 2018 calendar year has been a banner year for mergers nationwide, including a record 79 combinations through the year’s first three quarters, according to Altman Weil’s MergerLine.

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