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Patton Boggs begins new merger talks

The powerhouse law and lobby firm Patton Boggs on Wednesday said it is in merger talks with Cleveland-based Squire Sanders.

"Discussions are in very early stages, and there is no assurance that a combination will be completed," the firms said in a joint statement on Monday. "The firms will not make further statements until it has been determined whether to proceed."

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It has been a tumultuous couple of years for Patton Boggs, which still takes in the most lobbying revenue of any firm in Washington, earning $40.2 million in 2013. But its No. 1 standing wavered a bit last year, as it also took K Street's biggest hit, dropping $6 million over the year before.

Patton last year discussed a merger with the global law firm Locke Lord, but those talks fell through.

On Monday, the firm also announced that it would be closing a New Jersey office, a move that continues its efforts to restructure and cut costs.

Patton lost about $70 million worth of work in 2013, but says it's still about $45 million in the black.

Patton Boggs Managing Partner Ed Newberry told The Hill on Monday that the firm's restructuring plan — which has consisted of layoffs and compensation structure changes — "is producing strong results as we expected and our projections are for a strong 2014."

Squire Sanders is primarily known for its legal services and although it does have registered lobbyists, does not operate much in that area.