United States: Pillsbury Winthrop and Shaw Pittman Partners Vote to Approve Merger
Last Updated: March 31 2005

New Firm Will Emerge as One of the Largest Law Firms in the Washington, D.C. Market; Joins Ranks Among Nation’s Top 20 Law Firms

SAN FRANCISCO / WASHINGTON, D.C. – Partners at law firms Pillsbury Winthrop LLP and Shaw Pittman LLP have voted to approve their previously announced merger, clearing the way for the combination to take effect as soon as remaining conflicts are cleared. The new firm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, establishes a new legal brand among the American Lawyer Top 20, with approximately 900 attorneys in 16 international offices, and annual billings of around $600 million.

The two firms disclosed their intention to merge just last month, following several months of formal discussions. With the merger, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman will have over 400 attorneys on each coast and becomes one of the largest law firms in the Washington, D.C.-Northern Virginia market, as well as a recognized leader in global sourcing. It also retains top-tier rankings in capital markets and intellectual property practices as measured by Thomson Financial, Mergerstat, NameProtect, Managing Intellectual Property, American Banker and others and creates one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate practices. Based on combined revenue and attorney size, the firm would place somewhere among the top 15-20 law firms in the country.

"The opportunity afforded by the combination of our two firms is as strong today as when we first explored the possibility some months ago," says Mary B. Cranston, chair of Pillsbury Winthrop, who will retain her title following the merger. "Our national presence becomes greater, our capabilities in cross-border technology go deeper, and our range of industry experience instantly expands. We also love that Shaw Pittman’s wonderful entrepreneurial spirit which will certainly have an impact as we continue to move forward into new areas of client service."

Cranston is especially pleased at the progress so far on integration, an often challenging period in law firm mergers. "Our progress has been on track as we anticipated our challenges in advance, and our expectations were met," she notes. Particularly satisfying has been the response of clients, with whom our two firms have already been working jointly on a number of significant matters in energy, financial services, litigation, technology, intellectual property, environmental and real estate."

Shaw Pittman’s managing partner, Stephen B. Huttler, who becomes vice chair of the new firm, expressed his outlook on what the combination means. "Although this transaction closes a chapter on our 50-year history as a stand-alone firm, it represents a unique opportunity for us to create a global platform with a first-class partner who shares our values for excellent work and client focus," he says.

"This is one of those rare moments in business in which you can appreciate that the sum is truly greater than the parts," Huttler adds. "We are certain that Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman will make its mark among the world’s great law firms."

In addition to Cranston and Huttler, senior management of the combined firm will include David R. Snyder (San Diego) as vice chair and Marina Park (Silicon Valley) as firm-wide managing partner. The firm expects to make additional adjustments to its firm-wide management committee to reflect the merger.

As Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, the firm brings together a number of major practice strengths, including corporate, finance and capital markets, global sourcing, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, energy, tax, banking, communications, aviation and government regulation.

The firm’s U.S. offices are in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Century City, Houston, Los Angeles, Northern Virginia, Orange County, Palo Alto, Sacramento, San Diego, San Diego–North County, and Stamford with international offices in London, Sydney and Japan. In the near future, the firm intends to consolidate offices in four markets where there is a current overlap: New York, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and London. This marks the fourth merger in Pillsbury’s 130-plus year history.

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