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Baker & Daniels completes merger with Minneapolis law firm

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Baker & Daniels LLP, one of the city’s largest and oldest law firms, said Wednesday that it has completed its merger with Minneapolis-based Faegre & Benson LLP.

IBJ reported in August that the two firms were in merger discussions with the hope of completing a deal in October. The merger is effective Jan. 1.

The name of the combined firm is Faegre Baker Daniels. B&D Consulting will change to FaegreBD Consulting.

With 221 local attorneys, Baker & Daniels is the Indianapolis area’s second-largest law firm behind Barnes & Thornburg LLP, which has 228 attorneys. Overall, it boasts 308 lawyers in seven locations, including Chicago; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

The merger with the 500-lawyer Faegre & Benson is the largest law-firm combination involving an Indianapolis practice. More importantly, it gives Baker & Daniels a larger regional presence and greater access to work.

"We’re excited about our deeper bench strength we’ll be able to offer across both firms,” said Tom Froehle, Baker & Daniels' managing partner.

Andrew Humphrey, Faegre’s managing partner, will continue in that role. Froehle will serve as chief operating partner.

Baker & Daniels is a full-service law firm with strong corporate, litigation, bankruptcy and real estate practices. Its high-profile local corporate clients include Eli Lilly and Co., WellPoint Inc., Clarian Health and Simon Property Group Inc.

It is not the only large Indianapolis firm to enter into a merger within the past few months. Ice Miller LLP, the city’s third-largest firm, announced in August that it is combining with Schottenstein Zox and Dunn Co. of Columbus, Ohio.

Ice Miller is the larger firm, with 224 lawyers. SZD, Columbus’ fourth-largest law practice, has 90. Phil Bayt, Ice Miller’s chief managing partner, will serve as chief managing partner for the combined firm. Jim Davidson from SZD and Rob Gauss and Brenda Horn from Ice Miller will serve as deputy managing partners.

The combined firm, which will operate as Ice Miller, will rank among the 150 largest law firms in the United States. The merger is effective Jan. 1.

Nationwide, merger activity is on the rise, as firms continue to explore partnerships that will provide them more of a regional presence.

In the three-month period ending Sept. 30, firms announced 16 mergers or acquisitions compared with just five during the same time last year, according to the most recent statistics from suburban Philadelphia-based Altman Weil Inc.

 

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