The first week of 2013 has produced two notable transactions involving companies that specialize in serving the needs of Am Law 200 firms.
Technology shop Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian is representing Jules Kroll's K2 Intelligence on its acquisition of Thacher Associates, while Magic Circle firms Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May have grabbed lead advisory roles on Thomson Reuters's purchase of the Practical Law Company (PLC).
The move by Thomson Reuters to buy PLC, a leading provider of transactional intelligence and analysis to large firms, is the latest deal by the New Yorkbased multimedia and financial data giant in the legal services space.
A cross-border A&O team led by corporate partners Richard Evans, Peter Harwich, and Henry Morgenbesser, antitrust partners Antonio Bavasso and Elaine Johnston, corporate incentives partner Paul McCarthy, employment partner Mark Mansell, and pensions partner Dana Burstow are advising Thomson Reuters on its acquisition of London-based PLC.
Also working on the transaction are A&O senior associates Michael Bloch, Andy Howard, and Naomi Leach, associates Stephen Beattie, Chris Best, Amy Carter, Corrina Conroy, Dominic Foulkes, Andrew Jones, Michael Maier, Tom Masterman, Desma Polydorou, and Shira Selengut, and trainees Lucy Davies, Louise Dobson, and Louise Mitchell.
Edward Friedland, a Minneapolis-based general counsel for legal at Thomson Reuters, is leading an in-house team working on the acquisition of PLC. Deirdre Stanley serves as global general counsel for Thomson Reuters, which was created after Thomson bought Reuters in a $17.2 billion media megamerger in 2007.
A&O acted for Thomson on that deal and in subsequent years has advised the combined entity, which owns the Westlaw legal research service, on its roughly $40 million purchase of legal process outsourcer Pangea3 in 2010 and the $500 million sale of a trade and risk management software business in 2011. Thomson Reuters also divested itself of consulting arm Hildebrandt Baker Robbins in 2011. (Pangea3's departing cofounders recently spoke with sibling publication The Asian Lawyer about the future of legal outsourcing.)
That year also saw Thomson Reuters launch its own daily legal newswire and buy Asian Legal Business. The company followed those moves with its relaunch early last year of The Brief, a monthly legal publication focused on the Middle East. In 2012, Thomson Reuters turned to Dickstein Shapiro for counsel on its purchase of marketing and public relations intelligence service RedEgg.
David Binet, a former partner at top Canadian firm Torys and the COO of the private holding company that manages the assets of Canadian media magnate and Thomson Reuters chairman David Thomson, was named to the board of directors of Thomson Reuters late last year.
PLC, a company that has grown to more than 950 employees since being founded in 1990 by former Slaughter and May corporate lawyers Robert Dow and Christopher Millerchip, is now poised to become the latest bolt-on to Thomson Reuters's growing legal product empire.