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Fee Bargain

Law firm mergers may give you more room to negotiate legal fees.

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This story appears in the July 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's a hard fact of the soft economy: Law firms are struggling to survive with fewer clients and increasing operational costs.

Some are merging to stay competitive. Consulting firm Hildebrandt calculated 53 law firm mergers in 2002, compared to 11 mergers in 1997. Others are collapsing under the pressure. Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, a San Francisco firm that soared representing technology clients during the boom, ceased operations in January, laying off all 518 attorneys amid staggering debt and stalled merger talks.

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