Baltimore-based FTI Consulting said Tuesday it had agreed to pay $88 million for a legal-software company spawned by one of Seattle's largest...

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Baltimore-based FTI Consulting said Tuesday it had agreed to pay $88 million for a legal-software company spawned by one of Seattle’s largest law firms.

The acquisition of Seattle-based Attenex will beef up FTI’s electronic discovery business. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008, FTI said.

Last year, Attenex had some $25 million in revenue and more than 100 employees.

The company, whose products help law firms conduct investigations and gather and present electronic documents used in litigation, will become part of the FTI Technology division. Several executives will join FTI as senior managing directors.

FTI said through a spokesman that it plans no immediate layoffs.

The two companies overlap in very few areas, FTI said. Attenex’s research-and-development staff is “exceptional,” and its location in the Pacific Northwest will increase FTI’s access to engineering talent there, the firm said.

Attenex was founded in 2001 after spinning off from the Seattle headquarters of the Preston Gates & Ellis law firm (now part of K&L Gates). In 2005, Attenex raised $5 million from Voyager Capital.

Attenex is not the first local electronic discovery firm to be gobbled up by a larger company.

In 2003, legal-information giant LexisNexis bought Bellevue-based Applied Discovery.

Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com