Law Firms

Buchanan Ingersoll is talking about a possible merger with Fowler White

Two well-known regional law firms are talking about a possible merger that would create a combination with 550 lawyers.

The chair of Florida’s Fowler White Boggs confirmed to the Tampa Bay Business Journal that it is in discussions with Pittsburgh-based Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. Although the 450-attorney firm has three offices in Florida and one in San Diego, its primary presence is in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

“We have had inquiries from a number of firms wishing to expand into Florida recently,” said chair Rhea Law, who also serves as chief executive officer of Fowler White. “Our discussions with Buchanan have pointed out a number of similarities between our firms—our reputation, commitment to clients, culture as well as the desire to grow in Florida.”

All of her firm’s nearly 100 attorneys work in Florida.

“Florida is a growth state and an important market for our firm and more importantly our clients,” CEO John A. “Jack” Barbour of Buchanan Ingersoll told the Daily Business Review (sub. req.) in a written statement. “Fowler White enjoys a stellar reputation in Florida, and we have discussed with them how a combination would enhance both firms’ capabilities to service clients and further each of our strategic objectives.”

The firm has been looking for a top-flight merger partner for a year, the business publication reports, relying on unidentified sources. Fowler White’s previous discussions with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, which is based in Memphis, Tenn., did not culminate in a merger.

The Tampa Bay Times also has a story.

Related coverage: (2008): “Major Tampa Firm to Split; Who Gets Fowler White Name?” (2008): “Trial Lawyer Spinoff to Get Just One Name from Fowler White” (2009): “Nadel Receiver Leaves Fowler White Boggs Along With at Least 9 Others” (2011): “Fowler White Boggs to Expand in South Fla. by Merging with 12-Lawyer Fort Lauderdale Firm”

Updated at 5:30 p.m. to link to Tampa Bay Times article.

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