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Troutman Sanders, Pepper Hamilton Vote to Combine Firms (1)

Jan. 9, 2020, 3:56 PMUpdated: Jan. 9, 2020, 7:23 PM

Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton have voted to merge, creating a 1,100-lawyer firm with offices in 23 cities known as Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders.

The combination will take effect April 1, when Steve Lewis, the managing partner of Troutman, will take over as chair and CEO of the combined firm. Tom Gallagher, chair of Pepper Hamilton’s executive committee, will become vice chair of “Troutman Pepper.”

The two firms first confirmed they were in merger talks in November of last year.

In separate interviews, Lewis and Gallagher told Bloomberg Law their firms’ partnerships each unanimously voted Jan. 8 to confirm the deal.

The pair said the merger allows them to combine high-performing existing practices at both firms, while also complementing each others’ existing strengths.

“We like to call it strength on strength, and strength and strength,” Lewis said.

Another big plus for both firms will be having a greater on-the-ground presence in more cities in the northeastern and southeastern U.S. than either would have on its own, according to the leaders.

Gallagher also said Troutman Pepper will have a strengthened firm culture in which attorneys promote inclusiveness, and are focused on “putting clients first, and serving them well.”

Troutman is the larger of the two firms, taking in nearly $525 million in revenue in 2018—good for 68th most among U.S. law firms, according to the latest AmLaw rankings.

Pepper Hamilton’s revenue has declined slightly in recent years to nearly $335 million in 2018, falling just short of making into on to AmLaw’s list of the 100 largest firms in America.

Atlanta-born Troutman was also slightly more profitable, with its average equity partner taking home just north of $1 million in 2018. AmLaw says Philadelphia-founded Pepper Hamilton’s average equity partner made $830,000.

The combined firm said it will have offices in eight of the 10 largest U.S. markets and will have “a foundation for further strategic growth.”

Its key practices will include corporate, litigation, intellectual property, tax, and bankruptcy.

The largest industries served by the combined firm include health sciences, energy, real estate, insurance, finance, private equity, construction, and technology, the firm said in a statement.

(This story version replaced quotes from Lewis and Gallagher with new information and quotes, in the fourth through seventh paragraphs.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at; Rebekah Mintzer at