U.S. law-firm mergers to the end of the third quarter of 2018 reached levels unseen in the first three quarters of any year for more than a decade, according to an article published last week at law.com. The number of mergers recorded by Fairfax Associates between January 1 and the end of September of this year stood at 56, up six from the same period in 2017. Twenty of them were completed in the third quarter alone.

Fairfax Associates’ principal Kirsten Stark attributes the increase to law firms’ competition for market share. “This is a reflection of firms facing an intensifying competition for work, an intensifying competition for clients,” Stark told Brenda Sapino Jeffreys, senior reporter with ALM. “In their view, they will be more competitive if they have broader talent, better talent, and mergers are how to get there.”

For specifics on the mergers – 80% of which involved “smaller firms with five to 25 lawyers” – and Stark’s predictions for the future, check out Sapino Jeffreys’s article, originally published in The American Lawyer. It is rich in detail.

In the meantime, I welcome your thoughts on this or any other matter related to the law, either in the comments section below or directly via email.