Representing a high stakes case can lead to big rewards for firms. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. Following a series of stumbles related to environmental damage suits against Chevron in Ecuador, Washington D.C.-based Patton Boggs LLP found itself in dire straits.

However the firm has now found hope for a rescue, with news coming on May 23 that it will merge with firm Squire Sanders. The resulting firm, Squire Patton Boggs will be one of the largest firms in the United States.

According to the announcement from Patton Boggs, “the firm will consist of approximately 1,600 lawyers spanning 45 offices in 21 countries around the world…The firm will also rank as one of the top 10 largest firms in Washington D.C. with approximately 280 lawyers and among the largest in the United States with roughly 785 lawyers.”

Patton Boggs brings considerable experience in lobbying and deep ties to Capitol Hill in the deal, adding to Squire Sanders’ expertise in international practice. According to Politico, The new practice will offer services in nearly every field of complex law, including orate law, complex litigation, investigations, white collar defense, intellectual property, public policy, regulatory work, capital markets, labor and employment, restructuring and insolvency, real estate, sovereign representation, tax, and public and infrastructure finance.

“Since the time Patton Boggs was founded over 50 years ago we set out to create an innovative firm that brings legal expertise and lobbying know-how to government and business leaders around the world. That firm evolved into an industry game-changer,” said Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., chairman of Patton Boggs, in a statement. 

While the news is good for the firms, who decided to come together in a shareholder vote, there are still barriers to overcome.  For one, Patton Boggs is still mired in problems related Chevron suit. The company attempted to block the S15 million settlement arrangements it made with the company earlier this month, but was unsuccessful in doing so. In addition, the plaintiffs Boggs represented against Chevron have admonished the firm for their wholesale abandonment of the suit following fraud and misconduct allegations.

Squire will acquire just over $8 million in debt with the deal, but has stated that it is not concerned about lingering issues with Chevron.

The deal is expected to close in early June.


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