Planned merger may create top 50 largest US firm

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A planned merger between two US law firms may create one of the 50 largest law firms in the country by headcount.
Tenessee-based Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz (Baker Donelson) and Baltimore-based Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver (Ober Kaler) announced the planned combination this week.
The combination, which has been approved by the leadership and shareholders of both firms, is anticipated to take effect 1 January 2017.
The combined firm, which will maintain the name of Baker Donelson, would become one of the 50 largest law firms in the US, with more than 800 attorneys and advisors across 25 offices in nine states as well as Washington, D.C.
Bloomberg Law says that the firm is expected to bring in just above $400 million in gross yearly revenues.
Baker Donelson has 700 attorneys and public policy advisors representing more than 30 practice areas connected across 21 offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C.
Ober Kaler – a national law firm which has more than 110 attorneys and offices in Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, DC; and Falls Church, Virginia – provides integrated regulatory, transactional and litigation services to financial, health care, construction and other business clients.
The combination will result in the third largest health practice in the US while bringing together multiple practices, including financial services, construction and litigation.
Baker Donelson has more than 30 practices areas, including litigation that covers appellate, class action, complex commercial, intellectual property, labor and employment, premises and products liability, securities, taxation and transportation litigation.
Baker Donelson also has a global business practice that represents companies with interests in more than 90 countries and an emerging companies practice that represents high-growth start-up companies and other emerging businesses in every state in the Southeast.
Baker Donelson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ben C. Adams said, “This is a significant step in our firm's continuing strategic growth. Ober|Kaler is well regarded as a national law firm with prominent practices in health, litigation, business, construction and finance, which are an excellent complement to Baker Donelson's strengths.”
“This is a great cultural fit as well with our firms' shared commitments to our clients, diversity, pro bono service and community involvement. We're excited to have this opportunity to join with such a highly respected law firm,” he added.
The firms got together through legal consulting firm Altman Weil, after Ober Kaler started to look for a potential merger, a report from The American Lawyer says.
“This combination will bring together two strong firms with national reputations, particularly in health care, financial services and construction, for exceptional client service,” said Ober Kaler CEO S. Craig Holden.
“We were drawn to Baker Donelson's outstanding reputation and the chance to offer our clients a significantly expanded platform with a broader reach, both geographically and in terms of the range of legal counsel that a firm of more than 800 attorneys and advisors brings,” he added.

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