K&L Gates, Hughes & Luce Combine To Create Firm Of 1,500 Lawyers

Friday, February 1, 2008 - 00:00

Partners from the law firms Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP (K&L Gates) and Hughes & Luce LLP (H&L) have voted to combine the two firms, creating a law firm of more than 1,500 lawyers in 23 offices located throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

Effective January 1, the combination provides the opportunity for Texas-based H&L and its clients to benefit from K&L Gates' extensive international reach and broad practice capabilities, while increasing the global firm's presence in the Lone Star State, a region that currently serves as home to more than 10 percent of Fortune 1000 companies as well as a multitude of other business entities focused on competing in national and global markets.

"Partners of both firms believe that K&L Gates will serve Texas businesses as a legal bridge to the globalized economy of the 21st century, just as it has in other parts of the United States, Europe and Asia," said Peter Kalis, K&L Gates' chairman and global managing partner and Edward Coultas, Hughes & Luce's managing partner.

Headquartered in Dallas, and with offices in Fort Worth and Austin, Hughes & Luce's approximately 150 lawyers have provided legal service to clients in a broad range of industries for more than 34 years. Key practice areas include complex litigation, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, tax, public policy, real estate, and outsourcing and technology transactions, among others.

The combined firm, which will employ the K&L Gates brand and have the legal name of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP, will have offices in Anchorage, Austin, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Spokane/Coeur d'Alene, Taipei and Washington, DC.

Continuing the firm's European expansion, K&L Gates has opened an office in Paris, France. The new Paris location, which is poised for immediate growth, complements K&L Gates' significant London presence and growing Berlin office, which the firm established in January 2007. With the Paris opening and the firm's recent combination with Texas law firm Hughes & Luce LLP, K&L Gates now encompasses more than 1,500 lawyers in 24 offices located in the United States, Europe and Asia.

K&L Gates Paris partner Diane Hedary is a member of both the New York and Paris bars, and advises on real estate, corporate and M&A transactions. Partner Olivia L Horovitz focuses on private equity, M&A transactions, corporate and environmental law.

Lawyers from K&L Gates aided in the completion of the historic $8.2 billion going-private transaction announced today by the Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB), having served as legal counsel to the trustee of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) with which the Tribune Company merged. The ESOP trustee, the Great Banc Trust Company, now holds 100 percent of Tribune's outstanding common stock.

Pittsburgh partner Charles R. Smith led the K&L Gates team that acted as counsel on the Tribune deal. Mr. Smith has served as principal outside counsel on more than 100 leveraged ESOPs of public and private companies, representing ESOP trustees, private equity firms, companies, investment banking firms, shareholders and management teams.