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When Law Firms Combine: Reflections on the Deal

Blank Rome’s Washington, D.C. Chairman James Kelly was recently interviewed by Sarah Kellog for her article, “When Law Firms Combine: Reflections on the Deal,” published in the April 2017 edition of the Washington Lawyer. Full excerpt below.

To view the article online, please click here.

Chair, Blank Rome LLP (D.C. Office)

The transaction between Dickstein Shapiro LLP and Blank Rome closed on February 11, 2016: (1) it was not a merger; and (2) on that date, 100-plus lawyers and additional staff formerly associated with Dickstein joined Blank Rome, and Blank Rome acquired certain assets from Dickstein, as well as assumed certain Dickstein liabilities.

Folks have been very pleased with the ability to offer our clients help and to grow our business in ways we couldn’t do before. When you’ve been serving a client in one particular way for years, and you discover you now have a colleague who can offer a client something you never had before, that’s a great opportunity.

There is a disruption factor. Dickstein Shapiro had all been together for a long time, and we have changed the focus of our identity, and changing your identity is a big deal. ... We had, I think, a built-in advantage here. Dickstein lawyers stayed in our current space. Washington, D.C., was our headquarters. In New York, 13 lawyers moved over to the Blank Rome New York space. And 40 or 50 Blank Rome lawyers moved over here in D.C. It was very significant we did not have to go through a physical move. That was helpful in reducing the disruption factor and smoothing the transition to a new firm.