Firm mergers & the economy

December 4, 2008
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Looks like Locke Reynolds answered the question I posed in a blog from October.

Locke confirmed they are merging with Louisville-Cincinnati firm Frost Brown Todd and taking that firm’s name. This is the second merger a large Indianapolis firm has undertaken this year. In May, Sommer Barnard became Taft Stettinitus & Hollister.

Plus, the Indianapolis Business Journal has reported that Ice Miller is set to merge with Louisville firm Greenebaum Doll & McDonald. Which firm could be next?

Law firms in Indianapolis claim the economy isn’t that bad right now and they aren’t experiencing the issues that the big firms in larger cities like Chicago or New York are facing.

We hear about things happening at law firms – whether it’s staff layoffs, merger discussions, or trimming summer associate positions – but when we try to confirm these things with firms, we get a denial, a “no comment”, or no response at all. Firms have no problem calling us or reaching out to us when they want us to know about a new practice group they’ve created or that a partner has been selected for a committee with a charitable group.

Can the Indiana legal community still say that its not being affected by this current economy now that we’ve got at least two large firms that have merged with out-of-state firms this year? That’s not even taking into account the smaller firms around the state that have joined forces in the last year. Is our legal community in denial, or are these mergers not an indicator that Indiana’s legal community is struggling and firms are looking to remain indispensable?
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