Law firm mergers continue, bringing U.K.'s Clyde & Co to Boston

A sailboat makes its way along the Charles River in front of the skyline of Boston
A sailboat makes its way along the Charles River in front of the skyline of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
  • 2,400-lawyer Clyde & Co now has 15 U.S. offices
  • Firm is bringing on 14 lawyers from Hermes, Netburn, O'Connor & Spearing
  • Merger adds to growing number of 2023 law firm combinations

(Reuters) - London-founded global law firm Clyde & Co said Thursday it has entered the Boston legal market through a merger with a much smaller local firm, extending a string of recent legal industry combinations.

Clyde & Co is bringing on 14 lawyers from Boston-based Hermes, Netburn, O'Connor & Spearing, which focused on insurance and civil litigation in the areas of product liability, toxic torts and construction.

Clyde & Co said it now has 15 offices in the United States after most recently opening outposts in Phoenix, Denver and Las Vegas in 2021. The 2,400-lawyer firm has about 60 partners in the United States out of 480 total partners, according to its website.

Boston has attracted other big out-of-town firms in recent years, including most recently Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Allen & Overy and Fox Rothschild.

"New England is home to a vibrant insurance, biotech, healthcare, and professional services ecosystem," Carolena Gordon, Clyde & Co's senior partner, said in a statement. The firm said the Boston office will work with its New York and New Jersey offices to advise businesses and insurance companies in the region.

The U.S. law firm merger market has seen a lot of activity since the start of the year.

In one of three deals announced just on Wednesday, Clark Hill said it has combined with 18-litigator firm Conrad O'Brien in Philadelphia after absorbing a small real estate firm in the same city last month. Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres, founded three years ago by alums from large law firms, said it merged with a small litigation firm in its hometown of Chicago.

This week also saw the abandonment of a proposed deal, though, when Womble Bond Dickinson and U.K. firm BDB Pitmans said they have called off merger talks after "extensive discussions."

Large and small firms alike are involved in the growing number of tie-ups this year. Big law firms growing through mergers this year include Holland & Knight's planned deal with a Nashville-based firm and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe's combination with Buckley.

Others may be on the horizon. Hogan Lovells and Shearman & Sterling acknowledged reports in late December but did not confirm nor deny they were in early-stage talks to merge.

Read more:

UK's Clyde & Co opens three new U.S. offices after midsize firm hires

Law firm tie-ups continue with Haynes and Boone combination

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at