Posted Jul 05, 2007 08:32 pm CDT
When Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll’s plan to merge with a Phoenix powerhouse failed several years ago, the then-325-lawyer Philadelphia firm was not deterred. It waited a year, until a promise not to recruit from then-150-lawyer Fennemore Craig expired, and cherry-picked two of the Phoenix firm’s best-known attorneys.
Last summer, Ballard Spahr opened a 22,000-square-foot office in Phoenix with those two lawyers. Today, it has 22 and is on the verge of outgrowing the space, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Meanwhile, the firm’s overall attorney roster numbers nearly 500.
The firm’s Phoenix move makes more sense today than it might have even a few decades ago, now that legal technology makes it possible to work effectively from a distance on major matters centered elsewhere–while meanwhile, as Phoenix managing partner Stephen Savage demonstrates in a photo illustrating the article, getting back in the saddle to rope a calf or two during off-work hours. From Ballard’s standpoint, too, being a well-known out-of-town firm can counterbalance the home-field advantage, now that it’s easier for Phoenix attorneys to work on non-local matters.
“We have a whole strategy for that part of the country that will eventually take us into Southern California,” says Arthur Makadon, Ballard’s chairman. “It is a part of the country that I think has not been over-lawyered. … So that is why we are devoting an enormous amount of effort to building the Phoenix office and doing it quickly.”