Cleveland Firm buys Lewis Overbeck & Furman
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On October 1st the Chicago law firm Lewis, Overbeck, & Furman was officially bought out by the larger Cleveland based law firm of Roetzel & Andress. This addition is number eight for the growing law firm and it’s the first Chicago based firm for them.

So why tackle the tough Chicago market? Jeffery Castro the firm’s president stated “ Chicago is an attractive market for Roetzel because it’s a major business center” and “We’ve had a number of clients that have approached us about whether we were able to open an office in Chicago” so it seems like the perfect fit for the growing firm.


Just one of many acquisitions and mergers this year

Mergers and acquisitions have been on the rise recently despite tough economic times in the country. This was not the first major merger of law firms in recent times.  As of September 2nd 2011 there have been 40 acquisitions and mergers according to Altman Weil MergerLine who currently tracks acquisitions and mergers of law firms as it is released to the press.

Half way through this year the numbers of combinations were at 28 which in up 47% from the previous year also according to Alman Weil MergerLiner.  This last acquisition makes number three for Roetzel & Andress since 2006.

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Chicago a difficult market to crack but a necessary one

Mr. Castro has made it no secret that in order for the law firm to grow Chicago was a necessary addition for the company. As he has already stated clients have long asked when a Chicago office would be a possibility and the great business center of Chicago was something that was needed for the law firm to grow. So why of all the law firms in Chicago did they choose the law firm of Lewis, Overbeck, & Furman?

This decision did not happen overnight, in fact they have been discussing this acquisition since March of last year according to Tim J. Emmit who was the managing partner at Lewis, Overbeck, & Furman and is currently the partner in charge at Roetzel & Andress. Mr. Castro said they considered other firms but felt like this firm was the “best fit”.

Both these firms coming together made the most sense because of they are more “relationship based” unlike other firms they were looking at. Mr. Emmit said it was always the intention of Lewis, Overbeck, & Furman to merge with another law firm in order to grow.

“ Chicago is a very difficult market, and we’ve not had the fortune or good luck that we’d hoped to have by growing organically or by merging with someone in the Chicago land area,”

Mr. Emmit said when asked about the acquisition. It seems like it was the ideal “marriage” for Lewis, Overbrook, & Furman to get with a larger firm to help them grow and for Roetzel & Andress to finally move to the Chicago market.


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