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BigLaw Gets Another Boutique Law Firm

Closing in on almost 4,000 lawyers, DLA Piper picks up law firms like a tire tread picks up rocks -- it's rolling.

Continuing its worldwide expansion, the BigLaw firm has brought in another boutique law firm. Liner LLP, and about 60 attorneys, will join Piper's offices in downtown Los Angeles and Century City.

It represents a trend that is gaining strength, as law firms announced a record 52 mergers so far this year.

BigLaw Looking

"We are excited about the opportunity to help build, under the DLA Piper umbrella, an even stronger presence in Southern California, Silicon Beach and beyond," managing partner Stuart Liner said.

Liner said the merger will give his firm the ability to provide clients with the services offered by Piper in New York and other national markets. He wants to capitalize on the big firm's strengths in areas like mergers and acquisitions, finance, infrastructure, and sports; his boutique practice focuses on real estate, new media, and private equity.

Roger Meltzer, Piper's global co-chairman, said his firm had been looking for a merger partner since 2011. They had considered a dozen other firms in the L.A. area.

According to the National Law Journal, the Chicago-based firm is the second largest in the United States. It has offices throughout the country and in 40 foreign markets.

Boutiques Found

Meanwhile, Hogan Lovells, a 2,600-lawyer multi-national, is acquiring a litigation and investigations firm. Collora, a Boston-based boutique, is now part of the larger litigation landscape as BigLaw seeks to beef up specialty business.

The acquisitions follow an accelerating trend, with 28 mergers and acquisitions announced in the first quarter and 24 in the second quarter. It is likely to outpace 2016, which saw 85 law firm mergers and acquisitions.

Norton Rose Fulbright also took over Chadbourne & Parke earlier this year. In name, it marked the end of the 115-year-old BigLaw firm.

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