ILNews

Ohio law firm acquires Indianapolis firm

Scott Olson
March 17, 2010
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One of Indianapolis' oldest law practices has been absorbed by a Cleveland law firm.

Dann Pecar Newman & Kleiman became part of Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff March 1, and changed its name to Benesch/Dann Pecar.

The firm's new moniker will be used locally for a transitional period of up to 18 months before Dann Pecar ultimately is dropped altogether in favor of the Benesch name, said Jeff Abrams, Dann Pecar's former managing partner. Abrams is now a member of Benesch's executive committee, taking the title of partner-in-charge of the Indianapolis office.

Founded in 1911, Dann Pecar has 29 lawyers and is Indianapolis' 17th-largest law firm, according to statistics from the Indianapolis Business Journal, sister publication to Indiana Lawyer. Benesch was founded in 1938 and has 145 attorneys, 110 of whom are in Cleveland. It also has locations in Columbus, Ohio; Wilmington, Del.; White Plains, N.Y.; and Shanghai, China.

That range proved attractive to Dann Pecar, whose smaller size made it difficult to provide some legal services, Abrams said.

"We've had opportunities to obtain new clients and expand our work, but we didn't have the skill set," he said. "[Benesch has] a great amount of resources that we don't have."

Chief among them are Benesch's health care and intellectual property practices, neither of which are among Dann Pecar's strengths, Abrams said. Dann Pecar's real estate work, however, was attractive to Benesch.

Dann Pecar leaders had been searching for a merger partner for a few years and had discussions with a handful of other firms before coming to terms with Benesch.

Two of the four firms Dann Pecar negotiated with are based in Indianapolis, said Abrams, who declined to name them.

"For whatever reasons, the others didn't work," he said. "But this one definitely became more and more inviting."

Abrams acknowledged the past few years have been "a little challenging," but he maintained the firm is profitable.

Benesch's acquisition of Dann Pecar allows it to continue its growth plans, said Ira Kaplan, Benesch managing partner.

"Our strategic plan calls for growth in core practices, and Benesch and Dann Pecar match up very well in that regard," he said. "It also is important to us to expand our Midwest presence, which provides us with broader reach and depth to better serve our clients."

One year short of reaching its 100-year milestone, Dann Pecar becomes the third Indianapolis firm in recent years to be acquired by an out-of-state law firm.

In May 2008, Sommer Barnard became part of Cincinnati-based Taft Stettinius & Hollister. Sommer Barnard was founded in 1969 and had 103 lawyers, making it the seventh-largest in the city, according to IBJ statistics. Taft, whose roots date to 1885, has 200 lawyers in Cincinnati. Its other Ohio offices are in Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton.

In December 2008, Locke Reynolds, Indianapolis' eighth-largest firm, announced its 79 attorneys would join forces with Cincinnati-based Frost Brown Todd's roster of 370 attorneys spread among nine locations in five states.

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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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