Law Firms

Not Yet Merged with McGuireWoods, 8 Helms Mullis Lawyers to Go Elsewhere

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Although an upcoming merger at the end of the month will put more than 100 lawyers at Charlotte, N.C.-based Helms Mullis & Wicker into one of the nation’s largest law firms, not every attorney is looking to practice at a big firm.

Among those who prefer to go smaller: eight lawyers at the Helms Mullis office in Raleigh. Led by name partner and former state lieutenant governor Dennis Wicker, they have announced plans to join a Columbus, Ohio-based law firm instead of soon-to-be 900-lawyer McGuireWoods. Taking their lobbying practice to 120-attorney Schottenstein Zox & Dunn, Wicker tells the News & Observer, will allow the group to continue to work at a firm of roughly the same size as Helms Mullis that offers “a great fit” and a “very entrepreneurial” environment.

Meanwhile, the move leaves merger partner McGuireWoods with a little more than half of the Helms Mullis lawyers it expected to have in its new Raleigh office after the merger.

Both firms are now planning to increase their new outposts in the state’s capital, the newspaper reports:

The Schottenstein firm expects to more than double the size of its new Raleigh office during the next 18 months, according to partner Richard Barnhart, who sits on the firm’s management committee. “We’re really excited to enter that market,” he says.

And Peter Covington, the current chair of Helms Mullis and future vice chair of McGuireWoods, says it also will be hiring to supplement the remaining 12-attorney contingent in the current Raleigh office who will be making the move to the Richmond, Va.-based firm.

As discussed in an earlier post, the Helms Mullis merger with McGuireWoods is expected to take place March 31.

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