(NLJ/Diego M. Radzinschi)
Andrews Kurth Kenyon and Hunton & Williams are in merger talks, two sources told the New York Law Journal this week. While it’s not clear how far the talks have progressed, a merger vote is not imminently expected, sources said.
Houston-based Andrews Kurth, even after acquiring IP boutique Kenyon & Kenyon last year, has been on the prowl for a combination. The firm, with nearly 400 attorneys, has also spoken with other law firms, but the talks with 660-attorney Hunton, based in Richmond, Virginia, appear to be more serious, sources said.
Andrews Kurth has been hit with a series of partner defections this year. Most recently, one of the firm’s key rainmaking partners, David Buck, co-chair of Andrews Kurth’s corporate and securities practice, gave notice that he was leaving to go to Sidley Austin, sources said.
Andrews Kurth spokeswoman Ashley Nelly said the firm’s managing partner, Bob Jewell, was not available to comment, while Buck declined to comment about his plans.
Hunton spokeswoman Eleanor Kerlow said the firm had no comment.
Some of Hunton and Andrews Kurth’s key financial metrics are similar. Profits per equity partner are $1.26 million at Andrews Kurth and $1.1 million at Hunton & Williams, while revenue per lawyer is $820,000 at Hunton and $885,000 at Andrews Kurth.
Overall, gross revenue at Hunton & Williams, ranked No. 63 in the Am Law 100, rose 2.5 percent to $541 million, while gross revenue at Andrews Kurth, ranked No. 111 in the Am Law 200, dropped 2.7 percent in 2016 to $289 million.
Several law firms have raided Andrews Kurth this year to expand their own Texas and energy practices. Greenberg Traurig in Dallas picked up four real estate lawyers in September. Jackson Walker took four partners from the firm this summer, while in February, King & Spalding took four corporate attorneys.