Updated 1:27 p.m.
With the May 1 deadline for the merger of Hogan & Hartson and Lovells nearing, Hogan's 38-lawyer Warsaw office has agreed to join K&L Gates as of March 15.
The office focuses on advising Polish and international clients on issues related to banking and finance, capital markets, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, government contracts, tax, real estate and construction, intellectual property, dispute resolution, and labor and employment.
In an interview, Hogan chairman J. Warren Gorrell Jr. said, “We fully support this arrangement and we are working with our Warsaw lawyers and their new firm to facilitate a smooth transition.”
Gorrell said Hogan Lovells will continue to have a “strong presence in Warsaw” after the May 1 combination. Lovells will bring 62 lawyers in Warsaw to the combined firm.
“It’s a good market and one that we think will be well served by the Lovells capabilities,” Gorrell said. He said that Hogan and the team joining K&L Gates are “working things through” with clients to see whether they will remain with Hogan or whether they will opt to go to the new firm.
Gorrell said that as the deadline for the merger moves forward, Hogan and Lovells are continuing to examine overlapping locations. He said it was possible other offices may be affected by the overlaps, but he declined to say which ones.
The news was first reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times.
Update: K&L Gates chairman Peter Kalis said the addition of an office in Warsaw was an "important part of the firm's strategy for Europe." In January, the firm opened an office in Moscow, adding to its existing European offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, London, and Paris. Also in January, the firm opened an office in Tokyo.
"What the Warsaw office does is fill out the central European hole with a significant group of extremely talented lawyers," Kalis said.
Kalis said that in 2009, the firm commissioned an internal task force to make recommendations on the firm's strategy in Europe. Additional offices in Moscow and Warsaw were at the top of the list, he said.
K&L Gates had a strong performance in 2009, becoming one of the few law firms to bring in over $1 billion in revenue. It logged a 1% increase to profits per partner, going from $855,000 to $861,000.
The firm has also increased its headcount significantly, going from 1,552 attorneys in 2008 to just over 1,700 in 2009.
"We have always believed that for a conservatively financed firm, a down market is a great opportunity for expansion. We have maintained our strategy of continuing to grow despite the downturn," Kalis said.