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. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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