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UPDATE: Ice Miller merger follows national trend

December 2, 2008

Ice Miller may be the biggest law firm in Indianapolis, but it's only a medium-sized player in the national landscape.

That likely prompted Ice Miller and the smaller, Louisville-based firm of Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC to merge in order to stay relevant.

"You need to provide legal services in more than one jurisdiction to be competitive," said Charles Baldwin, managing partner of the local office of Atlanta-based Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC. "That's what we found out nearly nine years ago, when Ogletree was the first firm outside of Indiana to have a presence" in Indianapolis.

IBJ reported earlier today that Ice Miller and Greenebaum Doll would soon announce their merger. Plans are still being finalized, but the deal is set to become official Jan. 1, according to sources familiar with the deal. The sources requested anonymity.

In a statement this afternoon, Ice Miller Chief Managing Partner Byron Myers did not confirm or deny the deal.

"As part of our firm's strategic plan, we are constantly evaluating markets and market conditions to determine potential growth opportunities in an effort to better serve our clients," Myers said. "At this point, we are unable to publicly comment on specific opportunities as it would be premature to do so."

A spokeswoman for Greenebaum Doll would not comment.

It is unclear which firm will absorb the other, or whether the Ice Miller name will remain. Ice Miller is the larger firm, with 263 attorneys; Greenebaum Doll has 180 lawyers.

Ice Miller has 238 of its lawyers downtown in One America Tower. It also has offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago and the Chicago suburb of Lisle.

Besides Louisville, Greenebaum Doll has Kentucky offices in Covington, Frankfort and Lexington, and others in Cincinnati and Nashville, Tenn.

Ice Miller was founded in 1910 and counts Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Clarian Health among its major clients.

Greenebaum Doll was established in 1952.

This would be the second merger involving a major Indianapolis firm within the past year. In May, Sommer Barnard PC became part of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Cincinnati.

For more, go to NewsTalk.

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