Law Firms

Ballard Spahr merges with criminal defense firm in New York

Ballard Spahr is entering the New York market through a merger with Stillman & Friedman, a 14-lawyer white-collar criminal defense firm in Manhattan.

The merged firm will be known in New York as Ballard Spahr Stillman & Friedman for the next few years, the Legal Intelligencer reports. The firm will drop the Stillman & Friedman name when branding efforts are completed.

The merger gives 500-lawyer Ballard Spahr a 14th U.S. office. A press release says the merger is the latest development in the expansion of Ballard Spahr’s litigation practice. Last week, five litigators from Featherstone Petrie DeSisto joined Ballard Spahr’s Denver office. And the firm opened its 13th office in San Diego two years ago with white-collar and commercial litigators from La Bella & McNamara.

The New York Times sees the merger as evidence that large law firms are increasingly embracing white-collar work, including internal investigations and foreign-bribery cases. “As firms struggle to increase revenue,” the Times says, “they realize that representing business people behaving badly is good for the bottom line.”

In keeping with that trend, another criminal defense lawyer, Gerald Shargel, joined Winston & Strawn last month after four decades of solo practice.

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