Husch & Eppenberger, LLC, and Blackwell Sanders LLP law firms announced that each set of partners voted to merge this week. The merger brings together two law firms of virtually equal size and national rank, officials said.
The merger is expected to close in late January 2008. A name will be chosen for the new firm in the coming weeks.
“This is a true merger of equals,” said Joseph P. Conran, co-chairman of the new firm. “Both firms contribute extraordinary legacies of legal excellence, client service and community leadership. Additionally – in those cities where Husch and Blackwell have historically operated, we immediately complement and improve our competitive position.”
“Each firm’s individual strengths multiply when brought together,” said David A. Fenley, co-chairman. “Both are financially successful and proudly enjoy long-standing relationships with leading companies and not-for-profit organizations. The partners have embraced this merger with a great amount of optimism about this larger legal services platform. We see a wealth of opportunities for increased service to existing clients, and expansion in existing and new markets.”
Blackwell Sanders appeared at #179 on the 2007 Am Law 200 list, which ranks firms according to their gross revenue. Husch & Eppenberger was ranked #175. As of Nov. 30, Blackwell Sanders had 330 attorneys firmwide; Husch had 300 firmwide. This new firm comprises 630 attorneys with anticipated revenues topping $275 million for 2008. At this size, the new firm would rank among the top 100 firms in the country based on revenue.
Mr. Fenley and Mr. Conran lead the new firm as co-chairmen. The new firm has a six-member executive board including the co-chairmen along with Tom Carney, Greg Smith, Bob Tomaso and Maurice Watson.
The firm’s practice areas are grouped under two major divisions: Business Services, chaired by senior corporate partner Jim Ash and vice-chaired by senior corporate partner Chris Kirley; and Litigation & Dispute Resolution, chaired by senior litigation partner Christine Miller and vice-chaired by senior litigation partner Doug Schmidt.
The firms announced their merger discussions in mid-September.
The new firm is a commercial litigation and business services law firm with approximately 630 attorneys. The firm has offices in Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield and Jefferson City, Missouri; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee; Peoria and Belleville, Illinois; Overland Park, Kansas; Washington, D.C.; and London, U.K.