Law firm mergers jumped by 67% in 2011, according to the new Merger Watch report from the Hildebrandt Institute.   There were 45 mergers involving US firms in 2011, compared with 27 in 2010.

The trend is expected to continue in 2012 — the number of mergers already announced or completed so far this year has exceeded the number seen at this time in 2011.

While firms continue to remain somewhat cautious about large combinations – often preferring regional tie-ups – merger activity appears to be heading back towards pre-recessionary levels which typically saw 55+ mergers per year.

In addition, mergers outside the U.S. jumped to 54 in 2011 compared to the 44 tracked in 2010.

The complete Merger Watch report can be viewed here.

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