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Quarles & Brady latest large firm to expand to Indianapolis

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The gutted 24th floor of the BMO building in Indianapolis offers panoramic views in every direction. Linden Barber visualizes the space taking shape, but he doesn’t see himself in a corner office.

“The corners are all democratic. There is no corner office in Indianapolis at Quarles & Brady,” said Barber, managing partner of the location that opened last month. Instead, those premium spaces will be remodeled as common areas where attorneys will collaborate and confer with clients.

“No one’s going to quarrel,” Barber said, pausing upon catching his pun, “over who gets which office.”

So far, nine attorneys have signed on at Quarles & Brady, and they’ll be working 10 floors down until renovations are complete, likely in November. They’ll share central space on the 24th floor, and Barber said the blank slate is being designed to accommodate more than 30 attorneys.

That’s a testament to what Quarles & Brady and other larger firms have seen in the legal market here – promise enough to set up shop in Indianapolis not through merger or acquisition, but by expanding with the launch of a branded office. And then expanding some more.

“We look at the vibrant economy of Indianapolis and what those areas of the economy are, and we really think they’re in intellectual property, they’re in health care, they’re in manufacturing,” Barber said.

“We saw this as a good fit to offer services in a more robust way to our clients,” he said. “We’re going to follow our clients and give them a legal firm that will enter into partnership with them to help them succeed.”

In terms of corporate size, Quarles & Brady is slightly smaller than large firms with Indianapolis roots such as Barnes & Thornburg LLP and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. FaegreBD ranked 66th on The American Lawyer’s 2013 Am Law 200 list, while Barnes was 102nd. Quarles was ranked 129th.

Firm officials said some of Quarles’ Indiana clients include Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Emmis Communications Corp., and Just Marketing Inc. The firm serves several other Hoosier clients, mostly in the financial services, manufacturing and health care sectors.

“The firm has taken a very strategic approach to what are our clients’ needs and where are we going to have offices,” Barber said. And the firm’s local office growth will come from recruiting lawyers who are a good fit with the firm’s collaborative culture. Those hires may come through lateral moves or by bringing on recent law school grads.

quarles Linden Barber, managing partner of Quarles & Brady’s new Indianapolis location, stands in the offices undergoing renovation in the BMO building. Opening last month with six lawyers, the firm is creating space for more than 30. (IL Photo/Eric Learned)

“You’ve got a lot of home-grown talent here,” said Barber, a native of northwest Indiana.

Other large out-of-town firms that have expanded to Indianapolis also have found room to grow.

Connie Lindman is managing partner of Chicago-based SmithAmundsen LLC’s Indianapolis office. It recently marked its first year in business, and it’s been a successful one.

“We’ve doubled the size of the group in a year, and in our new space we have room to double again,” Lindman said. The goal is to bring the number of attorneys practicing in the Indianapolis office to about 12 by year’s end.

Lindman leads SmithAmundsen’s firm-wide intellectual property practice from the Indianapolis location, but she said it’s been the intention since the launch of the location here to grow into a full-service firm.

“We would be happy to recruit in any area of business or commercial law,” she said. “I would like to move more quickly on that, and that is why we are actively looking for laterals.”

The Indianapolis legal market is competitive despite its lack of Fortune 500 headquarters, she said.

“I think companies of all size want to receive top-quality legal services, and they want to receive them at Midwest rates,” Lindman said. “We are operating at a world-class level, and we can do that from Indianapolis.”

With its expansion in Indianapolis, SmithAmundsen has grown to a firm of more than 150 lawyers across seven offices around the Midwest.

quarles-facts.jpgOperating the global firm Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C. from its Indianapolis office, managing partner Kim Ebert said the firm’s overall growth since opening the Indianapolis location in 2000 has been remarkable.

The office started with eight lawyers and now has 35 in Indianapolis, according to Ebert. That’s representative of the firm’s overall growth – from 140 attorneys in 2000 to more than 720. The number of offices also has multiplied, from 12 to 45, including recent expansions in London and Berlin.

Ebert said Ogletree has posted average revenue gains of about 15 percent annually since 2007, and the Atlanta-based firm surged up the Am Law 100 from 97th place in 2012 to 88th in 2013.

“That may have been the biggest move on the list, other than through mergers,” he said.

The firm’s focus on labor and employment law provides insulation from some of the more cyclical areas of practice, Ebert said. At the same time, he added, there’s ongoing consolidation of firms with significant labor practices.

Another trend, Ebert said, is that of large national employers signing law firms to preferred provider agreements to handle all their legal needs.

“So we have a distinct advantage in that we have 45 offices. We’ve been successful competing for those types of proposals,” he said.

For Barber, the view of Indianapolis from the unfinished shell of an office is a market likely to continue to attract expansion from national firms that see opportunities.

“We’ve got a long-term commitment here,” he said.•

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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