Drinker Biddle & Reath and Faegre Baker Daniels announced today the combination of their law firms, following an affirmative vote by the partnerships of both organizations. The combined firm will begin operations as Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath (Faegre Drinker) on Feb. 1, 2020.
With more than 1,300 attorneys and consultants in 22 locations across the U.S. and in China and the United Kingdom, Faegre Drinker will be one of the nation’s 50 largest law firms based on both size and projected gross revenue of nearly $1 billion.
Both firms are known for providing exceptional service to clients with transactional, regulatory and litigation capabilities. The combined firm is designed for clients — a firm with broadened capabilities and geographic reach coupled with a commitment to delivering outstanding service and excellence without arrogance.
The combination will add depth and breadth of experience and match strength with strength in each of the firm’s four largest practice areas: corporate, business litigation, product liability and intellectual property. The corporate and business litigation teams will each include more than 200 attorneys, and product liability and intellectual property attorneys will both number approximately 150. The combined firm also will have new practice capabilities and deeper regulatory expertise across a number of areas including employee benefits, finance and restructuring, government advocacy, health, insurance, investment management, labor and employment, private client, and real estate. In addition, the firm will be a leader in several key industry sectors including construction, financial services, food and agribusiness, health and life sciences, insurance, and retail.
Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting — FaegreBD’s advisory and advocacy division based in Washington, D.C. — will become Faegre Drinker Consulting. Drinker Biddle’s ancillary businesses — Tritura Information Governance, Innovative Health Strategies, and its government advocacy arm, The District Policy Group — will also become part of the combined firm’s service offerings.
The firm will combine offices in three cities: Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. In both Chicago and Washington, D.C., the combined offices will be significantly larger, with more than 150 lawyers and consultants each. Drinker Biddle will gain offices in important business centers, including Denver, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Silicon Valley, as well as three international offices in London, Beijing and Shanghai. Faegre Baker Daniels will gain new offices in strategic markets, including Dallas, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Wilmington, Delaware. The firm’s five largest offices will be in Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Faegre Drinker will also continue each legacy firm’s commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. The combined firm will continue to implement innovative programs dedicated to the retention and advancement of women and diverse professionals, including Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule, under which both firms are currently designated Certified Plus. Both firms are active members of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and received 2019 Best Law Firms for Women recognition from Working Mother magazine.
The combined firm will be co-chaired by Drinker Biddle Chairman and CEO Andy Kassner and Faegre Baker Daniels Chair and Managing Partner Tom Froehle, who characterize the merger as a unique alignment of core values and a combination of equals.
“Faegre Baker Daniels’ growth strategy has always focused on attracting and retaining top talent, and providing the counsel and collaboration required to help our clients meet their business objectives,” said Froehle. “We believe that a combination with Drinker Biddle advances these objectives for our firm, and we look forward to sharing the enhanced capabilities of a combined platform with our clients.”
Kassner said, “The combination expands our geographic reach, enhances our key practices and provides us with Am Law 50 strength and scale, enabling both firms to do even more for our clients. And most importantly, Faegre Baker Daniels shares a similar culture that values a true partnership with the overarching principles of civility, collegiality, respect and diversity.”
In addition to Froehle and Kassner, the firm’s executive leadership team will include Faegre Baker Daniels partners David Barrett, Gina Kastel and Jack Sperber; Drinker Biddle partners Bill Connolly and Judy Reich; and Drinker Biddle Chief Operating Officer Jane Koehl, who will continue as COO of the combined firm.
In a joint statement, Froehle and Kassner said, “This strategic combination allows us to stay true to our shared values while leveraging the considerable resources of the new firm to deliver to clients the sophisticated solutions and exceptional service that they expect. The broader platform will accelerate our investments in talent, technology and innovation to provide improved service and greater value to clients.”