In a significant move, Kansas City-based law firm Spencer Fane announced on Wednesday its merger with Snow Christensen & Martineau, a prominent Utah law firm. This strategic collaboration marks Spencer Fane’s continuous expansion and exemplifies the prevailing trend of consolidation within the U.S. legal industry.
Strengthening Legal Footprint: The Merger Details
Scheduled for March 1, the merger with Snow Christensen & Martineau is poised to elevate Spencer Fane’s attorney headcount to an impressive 500 lawyers spread across 25 offices throughout the United States. With Snow Christensen boasting nearly 50 lawyers, its historical roots date back to 1886, a decade before Utah’s statehood.
Establishing Roots in Salt Lake City
One of the pivotal outcomes of this merger is Spencer Fane’s establishment of a robust presence in Salt Lake City. The city has emerged as a preferred destination for U.S. law firms, driven by its burgeoning tech sector and rapidly expanding population.
Continuation of Expansion: Recent Mergers
This move follows Spencer Fane’s recent merger with Pahl & McCay, a 15-lawyer firm, allowing the company to make significant inroads into the competitive California legal market. The strategic partnerships underscore Spencer Fane’s commitment to diversifying its geographical presence and service offerings.
Industry-wide Consolidation: A 2023 Trend
The legal industry is witnessing a wave of consolidation in 2023, building on the momentum disrupted briefly during the pandemic. Notable mergers include Maynard Cooper & Gale joining forces with Nexsen Pruet and Holland & Knight merging with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis.
Future Prospects: More Mergers on the Horizon
The trend of law firm mergers shows no signs of slowing down, with more deals already in the pipeline for the upcoming year. Notable among them is the planned merger between Shearman & Sterling and Allen & Overy. Midwest law firms Ulmer & Berne, Greensfelder, and Hemker & Gale have also announced their merger, envisioning the creation of a “super-regional” firm boasting 275 lawyers, effective February 1.
Driving Forces: High Costs and Slow Growth
A report released on Wednesday by Citigroup’s Citi Global Wealth at Work Law Firm Group and Hildebrandt Consulting sheds light on the driving forces behind these mergers. High costs and slow growth are expected to propel mergers among small and regional law firms.