BigLaw firm expands presence in Midwest with latest merger
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Cincinnati-based Dinsmore & Shohl started the new year by announcing that it acquired Wooden McLaughlin, a 47-attorney firm that has offices in three Indiana cities.
In a news release Monday, Dinsmore said the merger, which became official Jan. 1, is one of the largest deals between two domestic-only law firms during the COVID-19 pandemic. The addition of Wooden’s attorneys brings Dinsmore’s total attorney head count to more than 730 nationwide, an increase of more than 7%.
Dinsmore’s move into Indiana, where it will now have offices in Indianapolis, Evansville and Bloomington, will expand its foothold in the Midwest. Among its other locations, the firm has offices in Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky.
“I’ve always believed in having a renewable five-year plan and working back from where you want to be,” said George Vincent, Dinsmore chairman and managing partner, in the news release. “Five years ago, we wanted to be in Boston, Florida and Indiana, and we’ve done all of those things. We are in every state surrounding Indiana, so it is a natural place for us to be.”
Thomson Reuters Legal reports that Dinsmore’s clients have included retailer Walmart and the food distributor Sysco Corp., while Wooden was one of the firms that represented Cook Medical in multidistrict litigation involving its allegedly defective mesh implants.
Misha Rabinowitch, a Wooden partner who will lead Dinsmore’s Indianapolis and Bloomington offices, said in the news release his firm has been approached by others interested in a merger for the past 15 years and resisted until now.
“When we were approached by Dinsmore, we had to take a serious look because the culture they’ve developed is just like ours,” he said. “The merger is also a tremendous opportunity to continue to grow with our clients by providing additional depth of service in areas where we already practice, offering services in new business segments and expanding our geographic reach.”
All three of Wooden’s offices will remain in their current locations, the news release said. In addition to Rabinowitch’s new role, partner Joe Kremp will join Dinsmore’s board of directors and Greg Freyberger will be the office managing partner in Evansville.
According to Law.com, Big Law has increasingly targeted the Midwest. Last month, Dentons, the 10,000-lawyer firm, announced that it would combine with Davis Brown, which has nearly 80 lawyers, in Iowa. Other firms, including Washington, D.C.-based Venable, New York-based Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Detroit-based Dickinson Wright, moved into Chicago in 2020.