By Casey Sullivan
Dec 4 (Reuters) - Pittsburgh-based law firm K&L Gates said
on Monday it will acquire the smaller Australian firm
Middletons, giving K&L Gates offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth
The combination, which will be effective January 1, follows
an announcement by the firms in August that merger talks were
underway. The new firm will have 2,000 lawyers and 46 offices
Several other international law firms recently have looked
to Australia for mergers because of the country's proximity to
China, which has been investing heavily in natural resources and
infrastructure projects, legal experts said.
In March, China's King & Wood merged with Australia's
Mallesons Stephens Jaques and in October, the United Kingdom's
Herbert Smith paired with Australia's Freehills.
K&L Gates Chairman Peter Kalis and Middletons' managing
partner Nick Nichola did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2011, K&L Gates grossed $1.06 billion, according to The
American Lawyer, while Middletons was ranked 16th in revenue for
Australian firms, according to a Down Under publication,
Business Review Weekly. The magazine put the firm's revenues for
fiscal 2011-12 at $112 million.
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