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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

ADVERTISEMENT