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Holland & Knight, Thompson & Knight cement Aug. 1 merger plans

3 minute read

REUTERS/John Schults

  • Holland & Knight keeps its name and gets a big Texas presence
  • Thompson & Knight has seen a steady stream of partner departures since the merger announcement

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(Reuters) - Two months and more than a dozen partner defections later, Holland & Knight and Thompson & Knight say they have a date for the planned merger they first announced this spring.

The firms confirmed Monday that the deal is on track to be completed on Aug. 1, and the combined 1,600-lawyer firm will operate under Holland & Knight's name.

Holland & Knight's directors committee and Thompson & Knight's partnership have both signed off on the tie-up, the firms said, and they've executed a "definitive merger agreement."

"Further information concerning the combined firm will be released upon completion of the merger," the firms said.

The merger between Dallas-based Thompson & Knight and the larger, Miami-based Holland & Knight would make the latter a dominant firm in Texas and boost its energy and real estate practices, among others. Once completed, the merger would be the biggest of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year.

Since the merger's announcement in early April, Thompson & Knight has seen a steady stream of high-profile defections, including the heads of its Dallas and Austin offices to Sidley Austin and O'Melveny & Myers, respectively.

Other Thompson & Knight partners have made tracks to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Baker Botts, and BakerHostetler. On Monday, Haynes and Boone announced it had picked up capital markets and securities partner Stephen Grant from Thompson & Knight's Houston office; he's at least the 13th partner to leave the firm since April.

Departing Thompson & Knight attorneys who have spoken to Reuters said the looming merger did not factor into their exits.

Meanwhile, Holland & Knight hires over the past two months have included a corporate partner from Kirkland & Ellis; an emerging technologies and innovation practice co-head from K&L Gates; and a data strategy partner from Quarles & Brady.

Representatives for both firms have declined to comment on the departures.

The pandemic hit Thompson & Knight especially hard as a Texas firm with oil clients at a time when fewer people were traveling and using fuel. The firm was approved to receive $10 million in loans through the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program, which was intended to keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic.

Thompson & Knight's revenues dropped 10.4% to $195.1 million in 2020, while Holland & Knight saw its topline grow 1.7% to $1.04 billion in 2020, according to figures collected by The American Lawyer.

Read more:

Sidley snags Kirkland finance pair in N.Y., San Francisco

Winston lures Thompson & Knight tax partner in latest Dallas exit

O'Melveny takes team from Thompson & Knight to launch Austin office

Holland & Knight snags K&L Gates lobbyist, practice leader

Another Thompson & Knight partner lands at Baker Botts pre merger

Merger-bound Thompson & Knight sees another exit as Dallas chief jumps to Sidley

Two more corporate partners exit Thompson & Knight before merger

Thompson & Knight finance leader jumps to Baker Botts ahead of merger

Holland & Knight taps new data-privacy partner to meet 'unprecedented' demand

Holland & Knight and Thompson & Knight in merger talks

Reporting by David Thomas

David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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