Kirkpatrick, Nicholson Graham Complete Cross-Atlantic Merger

Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 00:00

U.S. law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP (K&L) and English firm Nicholson Graham & Jones (NGJ) announced that, effective January 1, they have combined forces to become Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP (K&LNG). The firm comprises 950 lawyers practicing in 10 U.S. offices and London.

In describing the rationale for the combination, Peter J. Kalis, chairman of the Management Committee of the combined firm, explained: "A law firm that fails to meet the trending needs of its clients does so at its own peril. Our clients increasingly operate across national boundaries and expect their law firms to be positioned to do the same.

"K&L decided some time ago to develop an international platform. We first worked to improve our U.S. coverage with offices across the country, including significant presences in New York, Washington, California, Boston and elsewhere, before approaching the UK market."

After K&L conducted extensive research on the UK market, it was clear that NGJ stood out, Mr. Kalis said. He noted in particular NGJ's historical presence in the City of London, extraordinary clientele, reputation for outstanding legal counsel and client service, strong leadership, ethical probity, and conservative financial management.

London Senior Partner Michael Johns added: "We both sought to take advantage of the synergies between our practices as we positioned our firms in the international marketplace. Indeed, since starting discussions we have worked together on dozens of client engagements."

Among the firm's industry strengths are manufacturing, financial services, media and entertainment, leisure and hospitality, life sciences, transportation, and information technology.

K&LNG is led by a Management Committee chaired by Mr. Kalis and including representatives of each of the firm's 11 offices, including three representatives from London. Kalis, who is resident in the firm's New York and Pittsburgh offices, also chairs the Executive Committee. Other Executive Committee members include Janice Hartman of Pittsburgh, Mr. Johns of London, Chuck Miller of Washington, and Paul Sweeney of Los Angeles. With an international membership including a woman and an African-American, the five-person K&LNG Executive Committee is among the most diverse governance bodies in the legal profession.

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