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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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