High-profile criminal defense attorneys Linda Pence and David Hensel have dissolved their Indianapolis firm, Pence Hensel LLC, and all three primary lawyers have moved their practices to other local law firms.
Pence has joined SmithAmundsen LLC, where she will lead the firm’s national white collar crime group. Hensel is now an attorney at Hoover Hull Turner LLP and Robert Hammerle is of counsel at Hackman Hulett LLP.
Both Pence and Hensel say their split was amicable. The pair have worked together since 1990 when they were both attorneys at the former Sommer Barnard PC. They then continued as colleagues when that firm merged with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. In 2010, they founded Pence Hensel.
“The decision to dissolve Pence Hensel was mutual,” Hensel said in a press release. “Linda and I remain friends, and I wish her the best as she continues her career with a firm that values her talent and experience.”
All three have extensive experience in criminal defense, particularly in the area of white collar crime. To their new firms, Pence, Hensel and Hammerle are boosting the defense teams and, in some instances, enabling the firms to expand into a new practice.
With more than 40 years of experience, Pence has investigated, prosecuted and defended corporate and individual clients extensively in white collar criminal matters. In addition to criminal litigation, Pence has handled a variety of complex civil and regulatory matters, including cases involving civil RICO, civil fraud, environmental clean-ups, insurance, banking, discrimination, intellectual property, patents, SEC enforcement proceedings, franchises, and business disputes.
“I am extremely excited and privileged to be joining a firm with SmithAmundsen’s pedigree and look forward to working alongside my new colleagues throughout the firm to support their clients’ needs,” Pence said. “I was seeking an environment that would allow me to continue to do what I love — serving companies and people who are facing life-changing circumstances.”
Pence began her legal career in 1974 as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice where she handled civil and regulatory issues and criminal investigations and prosecutions. She has assisted clients obtain significant judgments, including a record federal civil enforcement action settlement, successful representation of several service station dealers against a large oil company and representation of several plaintiffs in one of the largest workers’ compensation insurance fraud schemes.
“Linda’s addition is a once-in-a-lifetime affiliation for any firm, and we are glad she chose SmithAmundsen to continue her legal career,” said Steve Stitle, managing partner of SmithAmundsen’s Indianapolis office. “Linda brings to our firm national prominence in the area of white collar crime.”
Hensel will bring his experience in white-collar defense to Hoover Hull’s business litigation focus. The firm represents publicly traded companies, privately held businesses, financial institutions, and professional services firms across a wide array of industries. Hensel’s addition is part of Hoover Hull’s strategic plan to expand client services.
Hensel started his private practice with Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C. In 1990, he returned home to Indiana and has practiced in Indianapolis since.
“Our partners have known and worked with David for many years,” said Andy Hull, partner at Hoover Hull. “From our point of view, this is a perfect match. We have long respected David’s abilities and experience, and we are now proud to name him as our newest partner.”
Hammerle, who has represented business and individuals in criminal and civil disputes, will continue to focus on criminal law and professional licensing at Hackman.
“Bob’s experience and expertise bring further depth to the firm’s securities and civil litigation practice areas and expands the firm’s work into white collar criminal defense,” said Tony Ridolfo, managing partner at Hackman Hulett. “Perhaps most importantly, Bob brings enormous enthusiasm to his work.”
“I am very pleased to join a firm having such a long history in the Indianapolis legal community. And I’ve forgiven them for their lack of movie expertise,” said Hammerle, who maintains a movie review blog and whose reviews also are published in Indiana Lawyer.
Pence Hensel’s website on Monday morning had been disabled. The downtown Indianapolis office remained open, but only for the purposes of winding down the firm, a source familiar with the practice said. No new clients were being accepted.