Updated 5:08 p.m.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe are in merger talks, The American Lawyer reports.
Akin spokeswoman Kathryn Holmes-Johnson said in a statement, "Akin Gump and Orrick are in exploratory discussions regarding the possibility of a merger."
An Orrick spokesman also confirmed the talks.
In discussions with partners at both firms, it seems the discussions between the two firms have been kept between firm leaders. Several partners at both firms said they hadn't heard of the talks until news broke online.
Law firm consultants said they weren't surprised to hear of the discussions between the two firms because merger talks have greatly increased in recent months.
Tom Clay, a consultant at Altman Weil, which is not involved in the Akin-Orrick discussions, said, "Ever since the first quarter, the dam on merger talks has been broken. People are getting back to their strategic growth plans, which had largely been shelved in 2008 and 2009."
To read the Am Law story, click here.