A mid-sized Indianapolis law firm more than two decades old is dissolving as most of the lawyers are leaving for one of the city’s largest firms at the end of the year.
Five partners and four associates from Tabbert Hahn Earnest & Weddle are joining Bose McKinney & Evans at the beginning of the year, both firms have confirmed with Indiana Lawyer. Another partner left last week to create her own family law practice on the north side of Indianapolis, which means only four active members will remain once the move happens Jan. 1.
Those lawyers leaving for Bose are: name partners Gregory Hahn and Robert Weddle, partners Matthew W. Conner, Mary M. Ruth Feldhake, and Chad T. Walker, and the four associates David J. Duncan, Joel T. Nagle, Kevin M. Quinn and Elizabeth Schuerman.
With the firm for more than 20 years, Hahn described this as more of a business combination than a merger and said it’s been under discussion since about mid-October.
“Overall as a law firm, we have a number of national and international clients and this just gives us a bigger platform to represent those interests,” he said. "I'm very excited about this. They're great lawyers and have a great reputation, and this combo will help everyone go to a bigger plateau."
Bose spokesman Roger Harvey on Friday confirmed that nine attorneys would be joining that law firm, but he declined to answer any specifics about the move or how it transpired until after the news had been announced publicly. He also cited concerns about not speaking for attorneys who are not yet a part of Bose, though the current staff and lawyers received notice about the new hires by a company-wide e-mail Thursday afternoon.
Hahn and Weddle said that it was both the public affairs and medical litigation fields that drew the firms together.
On its website, Tabbert Hahn Earnest & Weddle lists companies in the medical, insurance, and gaming industries as some of its clients, as well as the city of Indianapolis. The departing attorneys practice in varying fields, from medical malpractice and product liability to gaming and insurance defense litigation. Now they will join those practice groups within a larger law firm that Indianapolis Business Journal listed earlier this year as the fifth largest. IBJ is Indiana Lawyer’s sister publication, as both entities are owned by IBJ Media.
Weddle, with the firm for 14 years and practicing in the medical malpractice and pharmaceutical defense areas, said that Bose wanted to expand that area of focus and this allows them to do that.
This also means that the governmental affairs affiliate known as Tabbert Hahn Ping Global Strategies will become an ancillary organization of Bose McKinney & Evans, taking on the new name of Bose Ping Government Strategies. Jennifer Ping will serve as principal of the new entity while others will work closely with the larger law firm's public affairs and communications group known as Bose Public Affairs Group.
Hahn described Bose as having one of the biggest and best governmental affairs groups statewide, possibly even in the Midwest, and said this union matched well for everyone involved.
With all but four leaving, the remaining attorneys are name partner Lante K. Earnest, partners David Shelton and Robert Daniels, and associate Mark Pizur. Co-founder Don A. Tabbert, who is in his 80s and mostly retired, remains as of counsel along with Joseph Hammes and Alan Nelson.
Partner Judy Tyrrell left Dec. 1 to establish her own family law-focused firm on the north side of Indianapolis at Keystone at the Crossing.
Those remaining three partners plan to go off on their own and it's not sure at this time what they may do, according to Weddle. A date has not yet been established for an official dissolution of the firm, he said.
This story will be updated in today's Indiana Lawyer daily and the Dec. 8 edition of IL, with more on the history of the mid-sized firm and reasons leading up to this change.