ILNews

Taft announces merger, enters Chicago market

Dave Stafford
November 19, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Midwest legal firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP will enter its largest market, announcing Tuesday its merger with a 70-lawyer Chicago firm.

Shefsky & Froelich of Chicago will become part of the Taft group of affiliated offices around the Midwest that includes locations in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton and northern Kentucky, as well as a branch office in Phoenix.

Robert J. Hicks, partner-in-charge of Taft’s Indianapolis office and a member of the firm’s executive committee, said the merger effective Jan. 2, 2014, will bring Taft to nearly 400 attorneys firm-wide, billing in the range of $175 million to $200 million annually.

With about 100 attorneys in the Indianapolis office, Taft is the seventh-largest law firm in the city, according to Indianapolis Business Journal research.

“Being in Chicago with a very sophisticated presence with deep roots has been on our agenda for a long time,” Hicks said. Taft considered nearly 10 firms in Chicago for close to two years and interviewed five or six it considered possible merger partners before Taft and Shefsky agreed to the partnership.

“They have a practice which matches ours beautifully and very quality people,” Hicks said.

Founded in 1970, Hicks said Shefsky has built a national reputation in gaming law. The firm’s litigation practice, appellate practice and corporate and real estate practices are outstanding, he added, often “fighting out of their weight class” against much larger firms in the market.

Hicks said under the Taft model, Shefsky’s current management team in Chicago will  remain in place and the local office will have autonomy. Some of Shefsky’s executives will join Taft’s executive committee, and some key Shefsky personnel, including finance and IT personnel, will take on more regional of firm-wide roles. The firm will begin operating under the Taft name.

Hicks said he and Taft managing partner Tom Terp from the Cincinnati office will be spending a considerable amount of time in the Chicago office, but he stressed, “The local guys will manage the office. We’re not going to terminate any employees.”

Taft’s decentralized structure was a key selling point for Shefsky, Hicks said. As Taft was looking at the firm, so were other, much larger potential suitors.

“They felt like those would have been a takeover,” Hicks said. “This is very much a partnership and a merger.”

In a statement announcing the merger, Cezar (“Cid”) M. Froelich of Shefsky & Froelich praised the partnership.

“With this merger, we will strengthen our core practices, but we also will be able to provide many services and cover areas of expertise that we just couldn’t before with a firm of 70 lawyers,” Froelich said. “Best of all, we will not change our client service culture and we will maintain our direct relationships with them. Our respective firm cultures and internal structures align remarkably well. We will be able to provide our clients with all the benefits of a large firm, while maintaining our historical fee structure and client attentiveness of a midsized firm.”

Hicks said the merger also aligns with Taft’s vision.

“Our goal is to have a substantial presence but stay in the Midwest and be in all the significant centers of the Midwest,” he said. “We want to have a Midwestern rate structure with the quality of one of the firms on the coasts.”

Taft was founded in 1885. The firm entered the Indianapolis market in 2008 when the 64 partners of Sommer Barnard agreed to a merger.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

  3. No, Ron Drake is not running against incumbent Larry Bucshon. That’s totally wrong; and destructively misleading to say anything like that. All political candidates, including me in the 8th district, are facing voters, not incumbents. You should not firewall away any of voters’ options. We need them all now more than ever. Right? Y’all have for decades given the Ds and Rs free 24/7/365 coverage of taxpayer-supported promotion at the expense of all alternatives. That’s plenty of head-start, money-in-the-pocket advantage for parties and people that don’t need any more free immunities, powers, privileges and money denied all others. Now it’s time to play fair and let voters know that there are, in fact, options. Much, much better, and not-corrupt options. Liberty or Bust! Andy Horning Libertarian for IN08 USA House of Representatives Freedom, Indiana

  4. A great idea! There is absolutely no need to incarcerate HRC's so-called "super predators" now that they can be adequately supervised on the streets by the BLM czars.

  5. One of the only qualms I have with this article is in the first paragraph, that heroin use is especially dangerous because it is highly addictive. All opioids are highly addictive. It is why, after becoming addicted to pain medications prescribed by their doctors for various reasons, people resort to heroin. There is a much deeper issue at play, and no drug use should be taken lightly in this category.

ADVERTISEMENT