Growing global legal giants Squire Patton Boggs and Hogan Lovells both made major moves over the July 4 weekend, with the latter poised to open two new offices in Latin America later this year through its union with a 70-lawyer firm in Mexico, while the former has absorbed a five-lawyer corporate boutique in Tokyo.
Squire Patton Boggs, a 1,573-lawyer firm that went live on June 1 following a much-anticipated merger between Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders, announced Monday its acquisition of the Mamiya Law Offices (MLO), a three-partner shop that advises on M&A and private equity deals, litigation and international arbitration matters, according to our affiliate publication The Asian Lawyer.
The move by Squire Patton Boggs, which had a small office in Tokyo through legacy firm Squire Sanders, will give the newly combined firm a domestic corporate presence in Japan, home to the world’s third-largest economy and an assertive nationalist coalition government eager to take on China for supremacy in the Asia-Pacific region.
Squire Patton Boggs, which on Monday also unveiled the new leadership structure for its lobbying and public policy group, has been shedding some offices and partners during its unification process. But as noted by The Asian Lawyer, the combined firm appears to have put a premium on expansion in the Asia-Pacific region with its bid for MLO—founded by M&A lawyer Jun Mamiya in 2008—coming on the heels of a recent string of lateral hires in Beijing and Los Angeles.
Another firm still digesting its own megamerger is Hogan Lovells, formed back in 2010 through the transatlantic tie-up between Hogan & Hartson and big British firm Lovells. Hogan Lovells also announced Monday its merger with Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa (BSTL), a 16-partner general practice firm founded in 1948 and headquartered in Mexico City.
The merger between BSTL and Hogan Lovells is the first between an Am Law 100 firm and a leading law firm in Mexico. The Daily Business Review, an affiliate publication, reports that once the deal is finalized on Aug. 1, Hogan Lovells will have offices in Mexico City and Monterrey to complement its Latin American outposts in Brazil and Venezuela. (The 2,313-lawyer firm will do business in Mexico under the Hogan Lovells BSTL banner.)
Major, Lindsey & Africa, a major legal recruiting and consulting firm, helped broker the deal between Hogan Lovells and BSTL, which the Daily Business Review will have more on in a story later this week. The American Lawyer reported in its recent Latin American supplement on the increasing number of Am Law 100 firms—such as DLA Piper, Greenberg Traurig and Holland & Knight—heading to Mexico as a result of sweeping constitutional reforms that have invigorated the country’s business climate.
Hogan Lovells, which ushered in a new leadership regime this month, did another international merger late last year by absorbing 120-lawyer South African firm Routledge Modise, according to our previous reports. Last week, Hogan Lovells made its second lateral hire in the country since that deal by bringing on ENSafrica tax expert and Chinese practice head Ernie Lai King as a partner in Johannesburg.
The tie-ups abroad by Hogan Lovells and Squire Patton Boggs come less than a week after a quarterly report by legal consultancy Altman Weil found that 2014 had so far kept pace with last year’s record numbers for law firm mergers.