Law firms Orrick and Buckley to merge, creating 1,150 lawyer firm

Signage is seen outside of the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • San Francisco-founded Orrick and Washington, D.C.-founded Buckley to combine
  • Combination adds to growing number of 2023 mergers between two big law firms

(Reuters) - U.S. law firms Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and Buckley are planning to merge in a deal they expect to close by the end of the month, the firms said on Thursday.

The combination will create a 1,150 lawyer firm, adding about 100 lawyers from Washington, D.C.-founded Buckley to San Francisco-founded Orrick's ranks.

The firms said the deal creates a "financial services and fintech law powerhouse" and addresses demand by companies and financial institutions for regulatory and enforcement advice.

"Our finance and tech clients are innovating in an environment of increasing regulatory and enforcement uncertainty – it's one of their primary business risks," Orrick chair Mitch Zuklie said in a statement.

"As these sectors converge, the combined firm will offer valuable regulatory and sector insight to these innovators and their investors who need to see around regulatory corners in pursuing their strategies," Zuklie said.

Orrick, among the top 50 U.S. law firms by revenue, generated more than $1.3 billion in 2021, while Buckley took in $148.5 million, according to figures reported by the American Lawyer.

The combined firm, under the Orrick name, will advise consumer banks, more than 700 fintech players, funds, more than 4,000 emerging companies and big tech companies, the firms said.

Orrick will gain a Chicago office through the deal. The combination will also help grow several existing Orrick outposts, including in Washington, where it will have 180 lawyers, the firms said.

The combination adds to a growing roster of big law firm mergers in 2023, following announced deals between Holland & Knight and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, and between Maynard Cooper & Gale and Nexsen Pruet earlier this month.

Hogan Lovells and New York-founded Shearman & Sterling acknowledged reports in late December that the firms are in early-stage merger discussions, without confirming or denying the talks.

Read more:

Law firm mergers gained steam in 2022, with more on the way in 2023

Holland & Knight to merge with Nashville law firm in first big 2023 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 sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com