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Law Firm Merger Mania Hits the Midwest

April 29, 2016, 6:10 PM

There’s a merger in the works in the Midwest.

On Friday, Kansas City law firm Husch Blackwell announced that it is merging with Wisconsin business and litigation firm Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. (WHD). Set to take place on July 1, the merger will bring together 717 attorneys and 787 staff in 19 offices across the U.S. and in London.

Combined, the firms would have had grossed $346 million in 2015, which, would have landed it on The American Lawyer’s list of the 100 top-grossing law firms in the U.S.

The merger is WHD’s second to take place in the past year. In September, WHD joined with Chicago-based firm Varga Berger Ledsky Hayes & Casey and expanded its presence in Illinois.

“This combination will provide our clients the benefit of deeper, industry-focused experience across a broader geographic platform, which is important to us as we continue to focus on their success,” WHD Chief Executive Paul Eberle said in a statement .

The new company, which will retain the Husch Blackwell name, will operate in all markets where the firms currently have offices, including Wisconsin, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Washington D.C., and London.

Husch Blackwell’s gross revenue fell by 1.7 percent to $284 million last year. At the same time, average compensation increased by 12 percent for equity partners and 7 percent for other partners.

“This combination strengthens the depth and scale of our industry groups, including technology, manufacturing, real estate and financial services,” Maurice Watson, Chairman of Husch Blackwell said in the statement .

According to Altman Weil MergerLine , there were 91 law firm combinations in 2015 , the highest total since the legal consulting firm began counting in 2007. Thus far, there have been 28 law firm mergers and acquisitions this year.