Ulmer & Berne LLP and Greensfelder Hemker & Gale PC announced their respective firms have approved a combination, creating a super-regional firm focused in the Midwest. With complementary business and geographic strengths, the firms will operate under the new name, UB Greensfelder LLP, effective February 1, 2024.

The combination of two strong, growth-focused, complementary firms will result in a new Am Law 200 firm with approximately 275 attorneys in nine offices and more than $150 million in combined gross annual revenues. Based on those numbers, UB Greensfelder would have ranked approximately 181 on the 2023 Am Law 200 and 163 on the NLJ 500.

“We are two overachieving firms with strong roots in the Midwest and visions for growth,” says Scott Kadish, Ulmer’s managing partner. “After we were both recognized as ‘punching above our weight’, we began discussions. As we talked, it became clear that this was an opportunity to bring together two like-minded firms with complementary practices and geographic footprints, and similar operations and cultures. That shared vision included the desire to expand in our core Midwest markets while maintaining our cultures and foundational values.”

“We have the luxury of combining, not because we have to, but because we recognize this combination as an opportunity to strengthen both firms,” says Greensfelder president and CEO, Kevin McLaughlin. “Each firm came to the table from a position of financial strength, and our practice mix and industry expertise will be significantly deeper and broader than either firm currently has. This will enable us to better serve our existing clients and position us to compete for additional work from new clients.”

The combination builds strength-on-strength in corporate transactions, business litigation, financial services, real estate, and health care, as well as in several other practice areas where both firms have outstanding reputations. Ulmer also will benefit from Greensfelder’s franchise, energy, and closely held business practices, while Greensfelder will gain Ulmer’s immigration practice and its bench strength in products liability.

Greensfelder and Ulmer have overlapping offices in Chicago, one of the nation’s most important business hubs, and complementary strategic locations throughout the Midwest and in other top-tier business centers. This includes Ulmer’s offices in Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; New York; Washington, DC; and Florida, and Greensfelder’s offices in St. Louis and Southern Illinois. Following the combination, the firm’s largest offices by attorney headcount will be in St. Louis (with over 100 lawyers), Cleveland (with approximately 75 lawyers), and Chicago and Cincinnati (with approximately 30 lawyers each).

“A significant factor in moving forward with this combination was the prospect of an Am Law 200 profile and a broader platform, which will position us to attract high-performing laterals and associates, and to recruit and retain even more diverse talent,” Kadish says. “This all points to ensuring we have the lawyers, staff, and technology needed to deliver the industry’s highest level of client service and efficiency at reasonable rates.”

The management of the combined firm will be evenly divided between attorneys from each legacy firm. McLaughlin and Kadish will serve as co-managing partners; each firm will have equal representation on the UB Greensfelder governing board and compensation committees; and the legacy firms will share leadership of key practice and industry groups.