Law Firms

Carlton Fields partners prep to vote on Jorden Burt merger, business journal reports


The Daily Business Review (sub. req.) reported that there is a pending merger vote by Carlton Fields partners to join insurance firm Jorden Burt and create a 310-lawyer firm, citing sources with knowledge of the discussions.

Although Gary Sasso, president and CEO of Carlton Fields, and James Jorden, managing partner of Jorden Burt, would not confirm a merger deal has been cut, sources confirmed that merger talks between the firms have been ongoing for more than a year and that the vote is considered a formality, according to the Daily Business Review. Both Sasso and Jorden denied to the Daily Business Review that a deal had been signed.

According to the publication’s Review 100 survey, the merger would give Carlton Fields, the fifth-largest law firm in Florida by number of attorneys, a presence in Washington, D.C., and Connecticut, the heart of the insurance industry. It also notes that Carlton Fields would add a lucrative complex insurance regulatory and defense practice under the merger.

Analysts and legal recruiters told the Daily Business Review that a merger would offer Carlton Fields a broader geographic footprint and niche practice area expansion. “It seems to make some sense for Carlton Fields because it strengthens them in Florida, gives them a presence in D.C. and establishes them on the ground in the Northeast,” Ward Bower, an analyst with Altman Weil, told the Daily Business Review. “That enables them to gain instant access to new markets and new clients.”

Sources also said that Jorden, who is in his early 70s and founded his firm in Miami, has been looking for an exit plan—something that has caused some consternation for partners, according to the Daily Business Review. What name of the firm might have going forward hasn’t been confirmed.

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