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Year of Mergers and Leadership: Changes in Midsize Firm Market

The Legal Intelligencer - December 28, 2015

Ed Seglias was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer article, "Year of Mergers and Leadership: Changes in Midsize Firm Market," on December 28, 2015.

By: Lizzy McLellan

In what several firm leaders called a strong year, acquisitions and lateral hires meant head count growth and practice area expansion at a number of Pennsylvania midsize and small firms.

In the second half of the year, Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman, Chartwell Law Offices, Burns White and Bennett Bricklin & Saltzburg all announced acquisitions of smaller firms.

Cohen Seglias announced its acquisition of a small Washington, D.C., firm in June. The deal gave Cohen Seglias four attorneys and an office in the nation's capital. It also allowed the firm to launch a new practice group in internal investigations.

The Philadelphia-based Cohen Seglias practices in construction, federal contracting and commercial litigation, among other areas, so it had been seeking a merger partner in the D.C. region for several years, vice president and shareholder Edward Seglias said. The merger brought Cohen Seglias' head count to 60. It grew again in August, when the firm hired two energy attorneys in Pittsburgh, doubling that ­office's size.

Chartwell announced its plan to acquire a Florida law firm in September. The merger added 22 attorneys, bringing the firm's total head count to more than 110. Wadsworth Huott, the Florida firm, was a litigation boutique focused on representing retailers, trucking companies, insurance carriers and self-insured companies.

Pittsburgh-based Burns White announced its planned acquisition of a smaller Pittsburgh-based firm, 11-attorney litigation boutique Dapper, Baldasare, Benson, Behling & Kane. The merger is set to take effect Jan. 1, and will bring Burns White to a total of 130 attorneys. The deal will bring Burns White two new practices areas—insurance coverage and trucking litigation.

Another deal set to take effect Jan. 1 will bring together two Philadelphia insurance-defense firms. Bennett Bricklin, a 72-attorney firm with six offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, announced its acquisition of seven-attorney Britt, Hankins & Moughan. James T. Moughan, a founding partner of Britt Hankins, said it had become difficult to do insurance defense work with a small shop.

To read the full article, please visit The Legal Intelligencer website.