Faegre in Merger Talks With Indianapolis Law Firm

Faegre & Benson, one of the state's largest law firms, is exploring the possibility of combining with Baker & Daniels; a vote on the possible merger isn't expected until the fall.

One of the state's largest law firms-Minneapolis-based Faegre & Benson, LLP-is considering a merger with Indianapolis-based Baker & Daniels, LLP.

The two firms said in a joint press statement that they “have commenced discussions toward a possible combination.”

“We are mutually interested in exploring this combination, based on its potential for enhancing the value that can be provided to our clients,” the firms said. “We are equally impressed by each other's commitment to quality, financial stability, caliber of professionals, and our remarkably similar culture and values.”

The firms said that they are “in early stages of our discussions” and that they “will continue careful exploration over the next couple of months.”

They do not expect to put the merger to a vote among their partners until the fall.

Faegre & Benson had 1,020 employees as of April, including 304 licensed Minnesota attorneys. In addition to its headquarters in Minneapolis, the firm has offices in Des Moines, Iowa; Denver; Boulder, Colorado; London; and Shanghai, China.

Baker & Daniels, meanwhile, has more than 370 lawyers and legal professionals in six cities-Chicago; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Indianapolis (two locations); South Bend, Indiana; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

Faegre & Benson's clients include Cargill, Wells Fargo, Xcel Energy, Boston Scientific, U.S. Bank, General Mills, Target Corporation, and Thomson Reuters.

According to The American Lawyer, which annually compiles information about the nation's largest law firms, Faegre's gross revenue declined nearly 10 percent to $256.5 million in 2010 while profits per partner jumped 5 percent to $530,000. Meanwhile, Baker & Daniels' gross revenue rose nearly 6 percent to $152.5 million in 2010, and profits per partner increased 2 percent to $520,000, according to the publication.