The word on the grapevine is that Lord Bissell & Brook, an old-line Chicago firm, is merging with Texas-based Locke Liddell & Sapp. This should be a good move for both firms. Lord Bissell is not known for a big real estate practice here, but I did do a deal with them late last year. Locke Liddell, OTOH, has a large real estate presence in Texas. And they pay well, too.
It will be interesting, as always, to see what the post-merger fallout will be, especially if the service partners are going to be shown the door. The LA office of Lord Bissell was actually one of my original choices when I was interviewing as a law student. It turned out not to be a fit for me at all, but what the heck did I know back then? I wish them all well.