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Report: Patton Boggs nearing merger

Patton Boggs, Washington’s No. 1 lobby firm, could soon advance a merger with law firm Squire Sanders, according to a report.

A vote between partners could take place as early as next week, Reuters reported, citing four anonymous sources familiar with the deal.
 
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If completed, the combination would create a firm with about 1,700 attorneys in 45 offices around the globe. The new firm would be called Squire Patton Boggs, according to Reuters.
 
Details are being presented to Patton Boggs on Friday, the report says, and that partners would take a vote by next Wednesday.
 
Spokesmen at Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders, as well as other people at each firm, did not respond to requests for comment from The Hill.
 
The acceleration in the merger talks comes two weeks after Patton Boggs settled allegations that it knew about or covered up fraudulent evidence used in a battle between Chevron and villagers in Ecuador. The firm must pay Chevron $15 million within 30 days, but it admitted to no wrongdoing.
 
Patton and Squire have been talking about merging since earlier this year after. Patton failed to score a partnership with another larger law firm, Locke Lord, in 2013.
 
Experts in the law firm management field have said a merger between Patton and Squire could be fraught with complications and potentially force layoffs and staff turnover.
 
A former Patton Boggs attorney told Reuters that some higher-ups were being told they would have to contribute “tens of thousands of dollars to the new firm” at the start of next year. A merger, however, could become official as soon as June 1, sources told the news service.
 
A deal would also give a boost to Patton, which has been struggling amid the Chevron lawsuit, partner defections, revenue losses and a dramatic restructuring.