By Brian Baxter
Patton Boggs managing partner Edward Newberry told The Am Law Daily on Thursday that his firm's decision to conduct another round of layoffs and engage in preliminary merger talks with Locke Lord are part of broader strategy that also includes revamping the firm's long-standing "eat what you kill" compensation system and a push to expand in California, New York, Texas and abroad.
Newberry, who assumed leadership of Patton Boggs in 2010 from former managing partner Stuart Pape, confirmed previous reports by Reuters that the firm is in the "due diligence" stage of discussions with Locke Lord. Patton Boggs partners were informed of the talks at an October partners meeting.
While no letter of intent has been signed, a memo written by Newberry this week updating Patton Boggs partners on a range of issues—which Reuters first reported on—notes that Wells Fargo, accounting firms Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, and legal consultant The Zeughauser Group have been retained to evaluate the merits of a union with Locke Lord.
In the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Am Law Daily, Newberry notes that Deloitte is advising the firm on pensions and benefits issues, while PwC and Wells Fargo are conducting a financial analysis. Dallas-based Patton Boggs investment funds partner Jeff Cole and Washington, D.C.–based litigation partner Charles “Rick” Talisman, who was recently named the firm's general counsel, are leading the internal team conducting due diligence on the potential Locke Lord deal.