Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C., a leading Michigan full-service law firm, is merging with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, an AmLaw 100 law firm with offices across the Midwest and the District of Columbia, effective December 31, 2022.
"Jaffe is starting a new, modern chapter by joining Taft," said Jaffe CEO Mark Cooper. "Taft shares our entrepreneurial mindset, Midwestern values, and commitment to culture, community, and client service. Our ability to leverage Taft's resources and expertise will provide an opportunity to drive even greater value and results to our clients."
Taft operates an innovative "non-headquarter" model in seven primary Midwest markets and the District of Columbia, allowing offices to thrive under empowered local leadership. Local offices are supported by a deep bench of legal expertise across a diverse array of practice areas. After joining Taft, the current Jaffe leadership team will continue to lead and make Detroit market decisions, and many will step into firm-wide leadership roles, serving on Taft's executive committee, all other major committees of the firm, and chairing practice groups.
The combined full-service firm, with more than 800 attorneys, will offer a broad spectrum of legal services to a wide range of industries, representing all significant practice areas.
"At Taft, our pervasive 'client-first' approach is central to who we are and how we operate," said Robert J. Hicks, Taft's chairman and managing partner. "By combining with Jaffe, we welcome a cohesive, talented, and experienced group of attorneys and staff to our team offering expanded expertise to clients. As in all of our mergers, we also look forward to continuing to support the Detroit regional community, united in our commitment to engage with our communities — a shared value among our firms."
This combination not only expands Jaffe's capabilities, but it also expands Taft's presence as it enters its eighth Midwest market — the second-largest in the Midwest. With the Jaffe combination, Taft will have major offices in seven of the nine largest Midwest metropolitan markets. In addition to several strategic lateral hires and robust internal growth, Taft has completed five mergers/combinations in the past 15 years — Briggs & Morgan (Minneapolis) in 2020, Shefsky & Froelich (Chicago) in 2014, Chester Willcox & Saxbe (Columbus) in 2012, and Kahn Kleinman (Cleveland) and Sommer Barnard (Indianapolis), both in 2008.
The addition of Jaffe comes at a time of strategic growth for Taft — having recently been named an Am Law 100 firm. In addition, Taft has grown its attorney headcount by more than 85 percent in the past five years and continues to be recognized as an employer of choice across the Midwest.
Such growth has enabled Taft to invest significantly in modern initiatives, including its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Today, more than 70 percent of Taft's executive leadership team are women and/or racially and ethnically diverse attorneys. The firm's efforts to establish itself as a modern, progressive law firm has also earned them the prestigious Mansfield Rule Certification 4.0 Plus status.