ILNews

Attorneys leaving Bingham to form new firm

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Seven attorneys are leaving Indianapolis firm Bingham McHale to form a new insurance litigation firm, a move that one of the departing partners said came as a result of high rates and the large firm's practice group effectively pricing itself out of the market.

An announcement about the Bingham exodus came Tuesday, with those involved describing it as an amicable split that boils down to those attorneys preferring a smaller setting to that of a big Indianapolis firm where overhead costs are higher. Bingham is ranked as the city's fifth largest firm.

On March 1, the group of 17 partners, attorneys, paralegals, and support staff, will form their own firm of Cantrell Strenski & Mehringer - taking the name of longtime Bingham partners Dennis Cantrell and Jim Strenski, as well as of counsel Susan Mehringer who joined the firm in 2007. Of counsel Barbara Jones will also be a partner at the new firm, and attorneys Tara Stapleton Lutes, Anna Muehling Mallon, and Catherine Haines will be associates. Three paralegals and a handful of support staff are leaving, also.

All have been a part of Bingham's insurance litigation practice group, representing insurance companies in coverage and bad-faith litigation as well as defending insureds in third-party litigation. They'll take about 90 percent of their clients, and the new firm will sublease space from Bingham on the 24th floor of the Market Tower Building.

Strenski, who's been at the firm since his summer associate work in 1993, said they've had discussions with Bingham leaders since the second half of 2008. This is an amicable split and no one asked or forced them to leave, he said. Over the years as Bingham has grown, the overhead costs have increased and that's put pressure on partners and attorneys to raise clients' rates, Strenski said.

"In this group, we were at the point where we had some of the highest rates in the city and state and had started to turn down work," he said. "We were pricing ourselves out of the market."

Strenski said the move is difficult, especially for those who've been there longest.

"We're very excited, but it's bittersweet. This law firm is where I was born and raised as an attorney, and it's sad," he said.

Bingham managing partner Tobin McClamroch said this was an amicable split and described it as a good decision on the attorneys' parts, saying law firm leadership respected the attorneys' decision. But he acknowledged it will hurt Bingham because the attorneys are taking most of their individual clients and this will leave the larger firm with a smaller business litigation practice.

"These are very fine lawyers, and whenever you lose people of that quality, it's tough to call this a positive," he said. "It's difficult to categorize the difference we'll see at Bingham, but these attorneys represented the most significant amount of insurance work we had."

The firm will continue representing business clients, including environmental, transactions, litigation, and other miscellaneous insurance work, McClamroch said. He also said this change isn't leading up to anything larger happening at the firm; McClamroch said Bingham isn't planning or gearing up for any merger or acquisition.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

ADVERTISEMENT