The two firm’s partnerships have approved the move to join the forces as a single firm to be known as Bryan Cave after the tie-up becomes official on January 1. The merger is going to expand Bryan Cave’s reach into the Rocky Mountain region and give it more that 1,100 lawyers in offices in 26 cities.
”Combining with [Holme Roberts] represents a unique opportunity for both firms to expand the resources we can offer to our clients while reinforcing a shared culture dedicated to superior client service,” Bryan Cave, who is the chairman of Don Lents, said in an statement announcing the merger. ”Extending our geographic reach while expanding the range of our services in California are important steps in our firm’s long-term growth.”
Last week, the Am Law Daily reported that the firms were involved in serious merger talks. For Holme Roberts, the possibility of combining with a larger firm emerged during an operational restructuring launched in the wake of a round of staff layoffs and a spate of high-profile partner departures. Randall Mitchell, who took over as the 175-lawyerfirm’s managing partner in the month of May, has been very busy during the past few months talking with potential suitors.
Miller, who became a member of Bryan Cave’s management committee and the head of its three Colorado offices, admitted to The Am Law Daily on Monday that he had felt a touch of sadness at seeing the Holme Robets name disappear. The firm’s Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs offices will operate for the next 18 months as Bryan Cave HRO before dropping the three-letter suffix.
”A changing of the guard at a 118-year-old institution [like Holme Robets] is a big deal,” says Miller. ”But it’s such a good fit with so many parallels that excitement is still the primary emotion.”
A strategic review of the Colorado-based firm’s operations–commissioned by Miller and firm management earlier this year, and handled by its outside legal consultants at Altman Weil–determined that becoming part of a national firm would better help Holme Robets to continue to serve its clients. Miller says that Holme Robets had received interest from a few other firms, which he declined to name, before formal merger talks with Bryan Cave gained some steam over the summer.
Lents, who is the chair of 900-laywer Bryan Cave, confirmed to The Am Law Daily on Monday that his firm had been in discussions with Holme Robets for ”several months.” He has said that Bryan Cave and Holme Robets have a mutual client relationship in the technology, financial services and manufacturing industries, and that there were no major client conflicts between all of the firms.