Dallas-based law firm Thompson & Knight is in talks to merge this summer with Miami’s Holland & Knight, a combination that would be the legal industry’s largest since the pandemic began.
The firms’ combined annual revenue would exceed $1.2 billion, potentially vaulting it into the nation’s top 25, according to legal publication American Lawyer.
Thompson & Knight, with offices in Dallas’ One Arts Plaza, was founded more than 130 years ago by two of the earliest graduates of the University of Texas. Today, the firm operates nine offices, including four in Texas, according to its website. It’s known for its practice in oil and gas, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity.
“This proposed combination would expand significantly each firm’s presence in important geographic markets. It would also improve the depth and breadth of the services offered to clients in key industries,” the firms said in a joint statement Friday.
Holland & Knight is much larger than the Dallas-based law firm, with around 1,400 lawyers in 27 offices, including Dallas. Thompson & Knight has 275 lawyers.
Last year, Thompson & Knight received an emergency pandemic loan of $10 million to retain 476 jobs. It was among a minority of the nation’s 200 biggest law firms to seek payroll support from the government, according to Bloomberg Law.
With the energy industry’s troubles in 2020, Thompson & Knight saw its key financial metrics decline, with revenue falling 10.5% to $195 million and profits dropping by 16.1%, according to Law.com.
The COVID-19 pandemic sapped demand for legal services, with nearly all law firms feeling the impact, according to Thomson Reuters’ 2021 report on the state of the legal industry. Demand started to recover to 2018 and 2019 levels by the fall.
“As the pandemic began to spread, however, firms took immediate steps to reduce lawyer headcount growth, dramatically cutting positions as they did in 2008-2009,” the report found.
Law.com said Thompson & Knight cut its lawyer count by 9.2%.