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Troutman Sanders, Pepper Hamilton Delay Merger for Virus (1)

March 17, 2020, 8:47 PMUpdated: March 17, 2020, 10:01 PM

Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton delayed their merger temporarily because of the coronavirus and the resultant public health crisis.

The tie-up, originally set to go live on April 1, has been delayed until July 1, when the new firm will be called Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, and less formally as Troutman Pepper. The combined operation will include roughly 1,100 lawyers in offices across 23 cities.

“While we are well-positioned to execute the combination on April 1, we believe the decision to postpone is in the best interest of our attorneys, staff, and clients,” the firms said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

“Postponing the merger will allow our attorneys to remain focused on excellent client care and will allow all our people to prioritize the health and safety of their families and themselves at this difficult time,” they said.

The firms jointly have developed a Covid-19 Resource Center to help guide clients through the crisis.

Another noted law firm merger also has been impacted by coronavirus. As of March 11, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath’s Washington offices remained closed over coronavirus concerns raised by the positive tests of two visitors, even as the newly-merged law firm decided to reopen its 21 other offices across the country.

There were 115 law firm mergers and acquisitions in 2019, according to a report released in January. The consulting group that conducted the study predicted that 2020 could be another banner year for law firm combinations. It’s unclear to what degree some of these proposed tie-ups could be affected by the inset of the virus.

(Added new seventh and eighth paragraphs that add detail about other recent law firm mergers.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Skolnik in Washington at sskolnik@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com

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