ILNews

BREAKING: Locke Reynolds merging with Kentucky firm

Michael W. Hoskins
December 4, 2008
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One of Indiana's largest law firms is merging with a Kentucky-based firm in a move to become more of a regional and national player.

Indiana-based Locke Reynolds will join Frost Brown Todd of Louisville, effective Jan. 5. Both firms voted Wednesday afternoon in favor of the union, which means the end of the name Locke Reynolds that's been a part of the state's legal community since 1917.

Post-merger, the firm will take the name Frost Brown Todd.

"We expect to be as competitive in this marketplace as anyone in this country," said Locke Reynolds partner and management committee member Jim Dimos. "(Frost Brown Todd) saw not being in Indianapolis as a hole in their strategy. They see this as a vibrant city and they're excited about being here."

As one of the top 10 largest firms in the state, Locke Reynolds has about 80 attorneys in its Indianapolis and Fort Wayne offices. Frost Brown Todd describes itself as one of the largest regional firms between Chicago and Atlanta, with more than 350 attorneys in the 10 offices scattered throughout fives states - Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Currently, it has three attorneys listed as working in the New Albany, Ind., location.

Post-merger, the firm will have between 90 and 100 attorneys in Indiana and more than 450 attorneys in the five-state region, making it among the Midwest's largest. The firm is expected to see more than $175 million in revenue during its first full year in 2009.

Nelson D. Alexander, who is currently managing partner at Locke Reynolds, will serve as member-in-charge of Frost Brown Todd's office in Indianapolis once the merger is finalized.

This marriage has been in the works for about two years, Dimos said. The Indiana firm has explored potential mergers for years, but nothing ever gained momentum until 2007 when partners decided to more aggressively investigate options and then the two firms found each other. They got serious about the merger earlier this year, he said.

Dimos said that by merging, the litigation-strong Locke Reynolds is able to strengthen the transactional, non-litigation practice areas that Frost Brown Todd thrives in, such as corporate and commercial law.

"We have attorneys there, but we needed more depth in those areas in addition to our litigation practice that's already strong at a regional or national level," Dimos said. "This was the best course for us."

Neither firm has been struggling in these economic times and that wasn't a factor in the merger, Dimos said. Both firms expect a smooth transition because they share a similar culture and personality, and no staff or lawyer layoffs are expected, he said.

Foster Brown Todd officials weren't immediately available for comment on the merger news, but in a news release co-managing members Richard Erikson and Ed Glasscock spoke highly of Indianapolis and the opportunity to enter this market.

This is the second Indiana firm this year to merge with an out-of-state firm and strip the established local name - Indianapolis-based Sommer Barnard became Taft Stettinius & Hollister in May. The Indianapolis Business Journal also reported this week that Indianapolis-based, 263-attorney Ice Miller is expected to soon announce a merger with 180-attorney Greenebaum Dolly & McDonald in Louisville, Ky, though both firms have declined to publicly comment on that.

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  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

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