The trends towards industry consolidation continues.

The Hildebrandt Institute’s MergerWatch Report showed 20 completed law firm mergers that involved U.S. firms in the first quarter of 2012. That represents a 43 percent increase over the first quarter of 2011, which saw only 14 completed mergers and is in stark contrast to the four completed mergers in the first quarter of 2010.

Merger activity so far in 2012 appears to build off of the increased merger activity in 2011 when the Hildebrandt Institute tracked 45 completed mergers, a substantial jump from 2010, which saw only 27 mergers.  It appears that law firm merger activity has been encouraged by signs of economic recovery.

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