Merger Alert: Squire Patton Boggs Grabs San Francisco Firm

Squire Patton Boggs is saying welcom to a German practice by way of San Francisco. The 1,500-lawyer law firm—the product of 2014's combination of Squire Sanders with D.C. lobbying shop Patton Boggs—is gaining 50 more lawyers through the acquisition of Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, firm leaders told World Business Legal Consulting Alliance.

Squire Patton Boggs is saying willkommen to a German practice by way of San Francisco.

The smaller firm is based in San Francisco but has an international practice with a strong German tilt. Specifically, many of the firm’s lawyers represent clients in disputes and regulatory matters that stem from selling products on a global basis, ranging from those in the construction and auto industries to medical devices and financial products.

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Carroll Burdick Chairman Matthew Kemner said the firm, founded in 1948, has been courted many times over the years. But it wasn’t until a few years ago when they actually started taking merger calls seriously, once they realized that having such an international-focused practice could benefit from a bigger infrastructure.

“When we got down to a half-dozen firms that seemed to be the most passionate, it was Squire that really had the vision to grasp the importance of…serving clients on a global scale,” said Mr. Kemner, who declined to name any specific clients the firm works for.

The two firms began discussions in earnest last summer, Squire Patton Boggs Chairman Mark Ruehlmann said.

The lawyers joining Squire Patton Boggs, spread between San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and an office near Stuttgart, Germany, bring an international perspective. The Carroll Burdick team speaks more than 16 languages, and more than 20% have legal educations in at least two countries, according to the firm.

After the merger, which is expected to close next month, Squire Patton Boggs will have 45 offices in 21 countries.

In a competitive legal market where it can be tough to find new sources of business, mergers continue to be a popular way to gain market share.