Taft Stettinius & Hollister has agreed to merge with Briggs and Morgan, creating a firm under the Taft name of more than 600 lawyers spanning 12 offices across the U.S. The merger will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Both firms are known for sophisticated transactional, litigation and regulatory work for upper-middle-market clients. Briggs brings to Taft expanded finance, patent litigation, energy, railroad and securities law expertise. While Briggs and Morgan has offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as Denver, Taft has a presence in nine cities, including Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus and Phoenix.

Taft’s chairman and managing partner, Robert Hicks, will continue to serve in that role. Steve Ryan, who has been serving as president and managing partner at Briggs, will become partner-in-charge in Minneapolis, the combined firm’s largest office.

“This is an exciting and dynamic strategy, bringing two thriving firms together,” Ryan said in a statement. “The idea to join forces with Taft was driven by our clients and the desire to not just meet but anticipate their needs. The larger platform gets us where we want to go in the way we want to get there — through a talent-driven strategy, Midwestern footprint and focus on practical, business-minded outcomes. The result is a firm that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Hicks added: “Briggs is a highly respected firm thanks to its visionary leadership, great attorneys and exceptional staff. Taft’s strength comes from its people, and the Briggs team is second to none in terms of being in touch with client needs and delivering strong legal services. With this combination, Minneapolis will be the firm’s largest office with more growth on the horizon under Steve Ryan’s continued leadership. This combination will be transformative for Briggs, Taft and most importantly, our clients.”

Minneapolis/St. Paul is the third-largest market in the Midwest, and Briggs and Morgan is the market’s fifth-largest law firm, representing notable clients such as the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins.