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The Dangers Of BigLaw's Merger-Happy Growth Strategy

Law360 (May 13, 2019, 8:38 PM EDT) -- There are those who say large law firms can at times be like lemmings, playing a dangerous game of follow-the-leader with their peers. A record-breaking year for law firm mergers in 2018, which has driven drastic head count growth, is one example of that, some observers say.

A handful of law firms grew by eye-popping numbers between 2017 and 2018, with 10 large firms increasing their U.S. head count by 15% or more, according to the newly released Law360 400. Of the five large firms that grew their attorney ranks the most last year, four did so through a merger....

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Kirkland & Ellis LLP has redefined what it means to be the biggest of BigLaw — weighing in at 2,116 attorneys by year end 2018 and becoming the first firm since Law360 began tracking law firm head counts to top 2,000 U.S.-based attorneys.

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