Why Ballard Spahr Will Merge Twice In Just Four Months

Ballard Spahr chair Mark Stewart. Courtesy photo.

In just one week, Ballard Spahr has announced two mergers that will expand the firm in terms of practice and sheer size.

Just Tuesday, the law firm announced that it’s taking in all 25 lawyers at the elite Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz (LSKS), which has offices in cities like Philly and Washington D.C. The firm specializes in First Amendment cases and has represented media clients like the New York Times, the AP (in the Cosby trial), and NBCUniversal.

Last week, Ballard announced that it will join with Lindquist & Vennum, a Minneapolis-based firm known for its middle-market M&A and private equity deal making.

Once both mergers are completed, Ballard will have more than 675 lawyers in 15 offices across the country. This means that by the start of 2018, the firm will have effectively added 200 lawyers and expanded its capacity in media and entertainment law and its M&A and private equity group.

Do these consecutive mergers prove that law firms are facing more pressure to “get big or go home” (Saul Ewing recently announced a merger, too), or is the melding just business as usual? BizPhilly caught up with Ballard Spahr’s chair, Mark Stewart, to find out. Stewart also tells the hardest part about merging and what’s on the horizon for the Center City firm.  Read more »

Saul Ewing Just Merged to Create a 400-Lawyer Firm

Barry Levin, left, managing partner of Saul Ewing, and Jeff Shapiro, chairman of Arnstein & Lehr.

As law firms face greater pressure to get bigger (or else crumble), one established Philadelphia firm announced a deal that puts it on the favorable side of the trend.

Center City-based Saul Ewing said on Tuesday that it has merged with Chicago-based Arnstein & Lehr to create Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr. The combined firm now boasts more than 400 attorneys and a wider presence in 15 office locations across the Northeast, Midwest, and Florida.

The deal is one of the largest mergers of two U.S. based firms this year. Saul Ewing brings 262 attorneys into the combination, while Arnstein & Lehr brings around 160.  Read more »