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Rogers & Wells, UK Firm Merger OK’d

July 11, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ The partners of two prestigious British and U.S. law firms have approved plans to merge and added a third partner to the union.

The combination of New York-based Rogers & Wells and Britain’s Clifford Chance, the first marriage of major U.S. and British law firms, was approved overwhelmingly by the firms’ partners over the weekend, Rogers & Wells said in a statement issued Sunday.

They also announced an agreement to merge with a leading German law firm, Punder, Volhard, Wever and Axster. The partners of all three firms are to vote in September on the three-way combination.

``We will succeed because all three firms share a strong commitment to developing a single, integrated culture, drawing on the best of each, that is dedicated to excellence in client service, teamwork and training,″ said Larry Cranch, managing partner at Rogers & Wells.

The combined firm will be known in the United States as Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells and as Clifford Chance along with the Punder name in Germany and certain other European locations, Rogers & Wells said. The three-way merger, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2000, will result in one of the world’s largest law firms with 2,700 lawyers and 30 offices worldwide, the statement said.

The mergers are expected to spark similar unions between firms amid a trend of consolidation in the increasingly international field of law.

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