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K&L Gates, Middletons in merger talks

American-Australian combo would include 2,000 lawyers in 45 offices

K&L Gates is keen on taking a trip to the land down under.

The U.S. law firm is in advanced merger talks with Australian firm Middletons. According to a press release that the firms jointly issued, the firms have been in discussion for months about forming a combined firm that would boast 2,200 lawyers in 45 international offices and “allow the firm to capitalize on shared practice strengths in areas such as corporate, energy and resources, banking and financial services, labor law and industrial relations, litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property, infrastructure and projects, real estate, competition and regulatory, technology, biotechnology and life sciences, and capital markets, among others.”

The firms plan to present formal merger proposals to both partnerships later this year.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that other recent mergers have featured Australian firms. In June, U.K.-based Herbert Smith merged with Freehills, and late last year, Beijing-based King & Wood merged with Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

For more InsideCounsel stories about law firm mergers, read:

Mergers of U.S. law firms dip in second quarter

Dewey’s potential merger with SNR Denton falls apart

Hildebrandt Institute says 20 law firms merged in Q1 201214 U.S. law firms merge in Q1 2012

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