One of the nation’s leading group legal plan providers recently acquired a lesser-known player, while a rival firm considered this avenue as one of several strategic moves to enhance shareholder value – proving the adage about strength in numbers may be particularly compelling in this business climate.

Hyatt Legal Plans, a MetLife Company whose nationwide network includes 5,200 law firms, spent the summer dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a deal to acquire Allstate Corporation’s group legal plans business, which is known as Signature LegalCare.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Allstate helps more than 17 million U.S. households with various insurance needs, including auto, home, life, and retirement plans and services.

Meanwhile, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., which serves more than 1.5 million families across the U.S. and four Canadian provinces, decided to evaluate an offer by a well-known private equity firm to acquire all of the outstanding shares of the company’s common stock in a merger at a price of $60 cash per share. No timetable was given for reviewing the possible deal.

In other news from the company, the 2010 Black and Gold Banquet was held in Tulsa, Okla., to honor the highest quality work among 38 independent provider law firms that provide legal services to customers.

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