SILICON VALLEY, Calif., CHICAGO and BALTIMORE, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Piper Rudnick LLP, one of the nation's leading law firms, and Gray Cary Ware and Freidenrich LLP, a premier technology law firm, today announced a merger that will create one of the largest, most diversified law firms in the United States. The new firm will be named "Piper Rudnick Gray Cary LLP." With more than 1,300 lawyers, the combined firm will become one of the 10 largest law firms in the U.S. The firm will have 20 offices located in leading business and technology markets throughout the country and projected revenues for 2004 that will approach $800 million, which would have placed the merged firm sixth in last year's AmLaw 100, which ranks U.S. law firms based on revenues. The merger, which takes effect on January 1, 2005, was announced jointly by Piper Rudnick's co-chairs, Francis B. Burch Jr., and Lee I. Miller, and Gray Cary's chairman and CEO, J. Terence O'Malley. The merger combines the 380 lawyers from Gray Cary, a firm well known for representing clients in corporate and securities, intellectual property and complex litigation matters, with the 1,000 lawyers from Piper Rudnick, a firm widely known for its real estate, litigation, business and technology, and government affairs practices. The combination results in a litigation department that will be one of the nation's largest and most experienced at trying complex litigation, including commercial and patent law disputes. It also accelerates the growth of Piper Rudnick's business and technology practice, which will have notably stronger capacity to represent clients of all sizes, from emerging companies to Fortune 100 corporations, particularly in the technology industry. "This merger represents an important milestone in our strategic plan," said Burch and Miller, co-chairs of Piper Rudnick, in a joint statement. "Gray Cary's core areas of practice, talented attorneys, and presence in key locations fit perfectly into our client-driven plans for growth. Their corporate and litigation strengths complement our own, so collectively, we are well positioned to meet the increasingly complex and global legal needs of our clients." "Like Piper Rudnick, we represent sophisticated clients that provide sophisticated products and services throughout the U.S. and across international markets," explained O'Malley. "This merger enables us to offer them comprehensive legal services in areas that are of critical importance to their business. O'Malley added that having a presence in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago, where Piper Rudnick now has offices, will give Gray Cary's clients and the firm's attorneys immediate proximity to important financial centers, capital markets, and additional venues where complex cases are litigated. He also cited an expanded presence in Washington D.C., where Piper Rudnick has a substantial part of its well established legislative and regulatory practice, as advantageous to the firm's clients who find themselves at the intersection of technology and regulatory issues in the post 9-11 business environment. Response from clients to the merged firm's capabilities is expected to be very positive. "Gray Cary and Piper Rudnick have combined their substantial individual competencies and wide ranging expertise into a powerful global platform capable of serving global organizations like ours and the companies we work with in a multitude of ways. We look forward to strengthening our long-standing partnerships with these great firms now that they have joined forces to create this enhanced set of capabilities," said Bob Grady, Managing Director and global head of venture capital at the Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms. The combined firm will comprise a set of top caliber, national legal practices in the areas of: -- Corporate and Securities/M&A -- The merger will instantly create a leading corporate finance practice with more than 250 attorneys. Based on completed deals, the merged firm would have ranked second in the country for "Completed U.S. M&A transactions" in the Thomson Financial tables. -- Litigation -- The combined firm creates a litigation department with more than 550 attorneys in offices throughout the country working on patent, securities, trade regulation, commercial, product liability, class action, white collar, financial services/insurance and other litigation work. The firm would rank seventh in the U.S. for the number of patent litigation cases filed in 2003, according to data compiled by American Lawyer Media. -- Real Estate -- With Piper Rudnick already widely recognized as the nation's preeminent real estate law firm, the combined firm would have more than 200 attorneys focused on real estate matters through the addition of 30 Gray Cary attorneys focusing in this area. -- Intellectual Property -- The merged firm will have nearly 200 attorneys heavily focused on IP matters, including patents, copyrights and trademarks, media and advertising. The merged firm will have more than 60 attorneys focusing on patent and trademark prosecution, 60 attorneys with copyright law experience and nearly 80 patent litigators. -- Government Affairs -- Building upon Piper Rudnick's existing position as one of the top government affairs law firms in the U.S., the merged firm will have more than 180 attorneys operating out of the Washington D.C. office, including Senator George Mitchell, Congressman Dick Armey and Governor James Blanchard among a host of other political leaders. The office will become the second largest within the firm's network while hosting sophisticated practices that include antitrust, communications, environmental, international trade, government controversies, legislative affairs, government contracts, and electronic commerce and privacy. "As two firms that are each the product of successful mergers in the past, both Piper Rudnick and Gray Cary approached this deal with a sharp focus on making sure there was a cultural fit," Burch added. "Both Piper Rudnick and Gray Cary have collegial, open and consensus-based cultures. Both share a deep commitment to pro bono and public service. Both invest heavily in training and developing their lawyers. We will continue to emphasize those values, enabling us to provide a stimulating and rewarding working environment for our lawyers and staff." Building on National Growth and Momentum According to Burch and Miller, Piper Rudnick's continued expansion in California has been a central part of the firm's strategic growth plan to build core practices areas in key regions of strategic importance to clients. The merger allows both firms to expand existing client relationships and provides a strong platform for developing new regional and national client relationships. The merger continues a period of dramatic growth for Piper Rudnick during the past 15 months, reflected in several strategic mergers, alliances and recruitment of many high-profile partners and strategic advisors across the country. About Gray Cary Gray Cary is a national law firm that represents private and public businesses, from emerging growth companies to Fortune 500 corporations. The firm has approximately 380 attorneys practicing in Austin, East Palo Alto, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. About Piper Rudnick LLP Piper Rudnick is a business law firm of 1,000 lawyers with U.S. offices in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Edison, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Reston, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington, and a European office in Paris. In 2004, Chambers USA named 40 of the firm's lawyers (up from 28 in 2003) among America's Leading Lawyers for Business, including two who received the rare "Exceptional" rating and one "Senior Statesman," particularly in the areas of real estate, corporate, litigation, and labor and employment. The firm's practice is focused on: -- Litigation, including national business and securities, product liability and toxic torts, intellectual property, antitrust, labor and class action litigation, and a white-collar group featuring a former Watergate prosecutor. This group includes eight members of the American College of Trial Lawyers (one of whom also served as president), two former United States Attorneys and a former federal judge. -- Real Estate, comprising one of the largest and most diverse practices in the United States, with a focus on transactional, finance and securities capabilities for owners and investors in all property sectors. In 2004, Chambers and Partners, the Practical Law Company and Who's Who Legal in separate independent surveys of clients and competitors all ranked the Real Estate group as the undisputed leading real estate practice in the nation. The group includes the President-elect and a former President of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, as well as 16 other members of the College. -- Business and Technology, including corporate and securities, corporate governance, franchise and distribution, intellectual property, media, information technology, taxation, bankruptcy, biosciences, IPOs, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, project finance, and other major transactions for companies of all sizes. -- Government Affairs, including the nationally known federal affairs and legislation group formerly with Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson and Hand; a government controversies practice headed by the former general counsel of a leading telecommunications company; and prominent regulatory practices in government contracts, environmental, e-commerce and privacy, tax legislation, antitrust and communications. This group includes former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. -- International, with significant capabilities in trade regulation, dispute resolution, and cross-border transactions, complemented by our strategic alliance with The Cohen Group, an international strategic business advisory firm headed by former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Joseph Ralston, and former U.K. Defense Minister and NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson.
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