Pepper Hamilton and Troutman Sanders Announce Merger

After months of talks and heated rumors, the Philly-based outfit combines with Atlanta’s fourth-largest in the year’s first major merger.

After months of talks and heated rumors, the Philly-based outfit combines with Atlanta’s fourth-largest in the year’s first major merger.


Hot on the heels of Drinker Biddle & Reath (whose merger with Faegre Baker Daniels we recently covered), fellow Philadelphia firm Pepper Hamilton is set to merge with Georgian giant Troutman Sanders to create Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, effective 1 April 2020.

 

Rumors of a tie-up have been swirling since the summer of 2019. Like the aforementioned Faegre Drinker combination, this merger will likely create an AmLaw 50 firm, with a projected gross revenue of around $900 million in 2020. With 23 offices globally, the new firm will field over 1,100 lawyers, with offices in eight of the US’s 10 largest markets.

 

Troutman Sanders – the larger and more profitable of the two firms – is no stranger to mergers, having expanded into Virginia, New York and Washington D.C. through combining with existing firms. It also has a strong presence in the southeast US. The firm counts energy, real estate and financial services as core strengths, while Pepper Hamilton is highly respected for its healthcare, product liability and, to a lesser extent, private equity capabilities. Pepper Hamilton’s recent history of mergers is less storied than its counterpart’s, with longtime talks with Reed Smith falling through in 2016. Its revenues have dipped since, though the firm’s revenue per lawyer has been on the rise recently, its 2019 figures its best ever.

 

Besides New York, D.C. and Orange County, there is no overlap between the two firms’ offices. They also have broadly different client bases, though both receive significant instructions from Johnson & Johnson.

 

Steve Lewis, currently managing partner of Troutman Sanders, will chair the new firm and be its CEO. Pepper Hamilton will be giving the new firm its vice chair and managing partner, with Tom Gallagher and Tom Cole respectively taking on those roles.

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