Law Firms

Minority-owned firm of more than 100 attorneys to close Feb. 29, lawyers are told in conference call

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Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan

A minority-owned Milwaukee-based law firm with 15 offices throughout the country and more than 100 lawyers is closing for unspecified financial reasons, many attorneys there, including some partners, learned in a conference call Monday.

“It’s stunning news,” partner Joe Fasi II of Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan told the Milwaukee Business Journal, explaining that he himself had no idea the firm planned to close until Monday’s all-staff conference call.

Fortunately, Fasi happened to have already given his notice that he intended to join Gass Weber Mullins. But news that the firm is closing its doors as of Feb. 29 means “a lot of friends of mine are going to end up looking for work,” he said.

The planned closing of the firm, which was founded in 1989 and is one of the largest minority-owned businesses in Milwaukee, was confirmed Tuesday by Emery Harlan, its chairman and co-managing partner.

In a written statement provided to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he said: “We remain proud of our ability to demonstrate that a law firm which truly values diversity and inclusion can compete with the largest firms in the country.

“The lawyers and staff who were part of the firm will remain on the front line in this effort to ensure that women and minority-owned law firms are afforded a full and fair opportunity to compete for legal work.”

The firm’s largest office is in Milwaukee, with 41 lawyers, following by New York City, with 22, the Journal Sentinel says.

It says there are a total of 127 attorneys at the firm; however, the Gonzalez Saggio website lists about a dozen fewer.

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