Law firms that merge announce that they do so in response to their clients’ demands. I am dubious how often a general counsel says, “Firm, we need you to add a roster more of lawyers and offices.” More likely, what drives rapid growth by merger comes down more to ego, keeping up with the Joneses [Days?], or lack of any compelling alternative strategy.
A slew of posts offer different perspectives on law department attitudes toward law firm size (Meta post: see my posts of April 2, 2005 on responses to the merger of a preferred firm; April 18, 2005 on reactions to behemoth firms; May 10, 2005 on “two score huge firms”; Sept. 10, 2005 regarding the connection between law firm size and ratings on league tables; Sept. 10, 2005 on relative growth of firms and departments; Oct. 23, 2005 on large-firm overhead; Nov. 13, 2005 on convergence and mergers scratching each others’ backs; Jan. 3, 2006 and the degree of attention paid by national powerhouses; and March 15, 2006 as to one-stop shopping.).