Law Firm Merger Trend Continues In 2020


It’s still early in 2020, so you may still be feeling the whole “new year, new me” vibe. And that’s cool, I’m still feeling the resolutions myself. But when it comes to the law firm merger landscape, 2020 is shaping up to look a lot like 2019. We saw a lot of law firm mergers last year, and now, not even a full week since the calendar flipped over there are two more mergers to talk about.

The first is the combination of Cincinnati-based Taft Stettinius & Hollister merging with Minneapolis-based Briggs & Morgan. The new entity, known simply as Taft, has 600+ lawyers and 12 offices. The combined revenue of the new firm will likely place them in the Am Law 100.

As reported by Law.com, the powers in charge of the merger say there’s been a smooth transition:

“There were no hiccups or problems we didn’t anticipate,” said Steven Ryan, the partner in charge of Taft’s Minneapolis office. Taft managing partner Robert Hicks expressed similar sentiments, saying while there was some “scrambling” at one point, “it couldn’t have gone any better.”

The second merger of 2020 sees the marriage of Kansas City, Missouri-based Lathrop Gage and Minneapolis-based Gray Plant Mooty, now known as Lathrop GPM. They newly expanded firm has ~400 lawyers across 14 offices. Lathrop GPM managing partner Cameron Garrison had good things to say about the change:

“As you can image, a combination of this size takes a lot of heavy lifting, and attorneys and staff throughout the organization have done a phenomenal job implementing the combination in a short amount of time,” Garrison said.

And don’t expect the merger madness to slow down any time soon.

Apart from Taft and Lathrop GPM, 10 more law firm mergers are scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2020, according to consultancy Fairfax Associates. This includes Dentons’ combinations with Indianapolis-based Bingham Greenebaum Doll and Pittsburgh-based Cohen & Grigsby, as a part of Dentons’ “Golden Spike” strategy to ostensibly create the first national law firm in the U.S.

A Dentons spokeswoman said they “continue to anticipate launching sometime in January,” but wouldn’t give a specific date.

Plus, on February 1st, we expect to see the merger of two Biglaw firms Faegre Baker Daniels and Drinker Biddle & Reath. The new firm, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, is expected to take its place in the top Am Law 50 with 1,300+ lawyers and 22 offices.


headshotKathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).



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