The 750-lawyer Midwestern firm and the venerable Philly outfit combine in a merger of equals.
In the largest US law firm merger-of-equals of 2019, Faegre Baker Daniels and Drinker Biddle & Reath have combined to create Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, slated to go live on 1 February 2020. Ceteris paribus, this will put them in the AmLaw 50 based on size and projected revenue.
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath will field over 1,300 lawyers and consultants across 22 offices in the US, the UK and China. It will be particularly strong in corporate work and business litigation (each of which department will field over 200 lawyers) as well as having 150 lawyers dedicated to product liability or intellectual property. Other intended areas of strength include restructuring, government advocacy, labor and employment, private client work, and real estate. Both firms are already strong in financial services, healthcare and life sciences.
As well as gaining valuable offices in London, Beijing and Shanghai, the legacy Drinker Biddle & Reath firm will enjoy access to Faegre Baker Daniels’s formidable Midwestern presence and Silicon Valley office. (The Midwest has been a particularly fruitful region for law firm mergers in 2019.) Meanwhile, Faegre Baker Daniels will gain offices along the East Coast as well as in San Francisco and Delaware – areas in which it previously had no permanent presence. The fact that the firms previously had little geographic overlap (outside of Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.) means that this merger seems to make good business sense; the combined firm will have a geographic reach commensurate with its size.
And size is notable here. Faegre Baker Daniels had a revenue of $513 million in 2018, while Drinker Biddle & Reath pulled in $450 million. Both have a PEP of around $900,000.
The firm’s co-chairs will be Andy Kassner and Tom Froehle, who have been chairing Drinker Biddle & Reath and Faegre Baker Daniels respectively.