Faegre to Merge With Indianapolis Law Firm

The merged organization will employ 770 lawyers, and its annual revenue will exceed $400 million.

Major Minnesota law firm Faegre & Benson, LLP-based in Minneapolis-said Wednesday that it has agreed to merge with Indianapolis-based Baker & Daniels, LLP.

The announcement follows a vote by partners within both organizations-and the combined firm will begin operations as Faegre Baker Daniels on January 1. The merged organization will employ 770 lawyers, making it the largest law firm in the state by a significant margin.

“Our clients have a global reach, and their demands for legal services have become increasingly broad and sophisticated,” Faegre & Benson Managing Partner Andrew Humphrey told Twin Cities Business when asked why the merger made sense. “We need to be able to continue to provide them with that breadth and depth of capabilities . . . You have to be of a certain size to support the [specialties] that you're offering.”

According to The American Lawyer, which annually compiles information about the nation's largest law firms, Faegre's gross revenue totaled $256.5 million in 2010-and Baker & Daniels' was $152.5 million. That puts the combined firm's revenue at more than $400 million-and Humphrey confirmed that Faegre Baker Daniels' revenue will exceed that figure. No post-merger layoffs are planned, Humphrey said.

Faegre & Benson and Baker & Daniels announced in mid-August that they had begun discussing a possible merger but said at the time that their partners wouldn't vote on such a proposal until the fall.

The two firms said Wednesday that the merged organization will maintain 13 offices in the United States, China, and the United Kingdom. In addition to its headquarters in Minneapolis, Faegre has offices in Des Moines, Iowa; Denver and Boulder, Colorado; London; and Shanghai, China. Baker & Daniels, meanwhile, has offices in six cities-Chicago; Indianapolis (two locations), Fort Wayne, and South Bend, Indiana; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

Humphrey said that combining forces with another established firm will strengthen both firms' practice and industry capabilities. “For example, Faegre clients will be getting a really strong insurance regulatory practice that Baker has,” he explained. “Our financial services and food and ag clients will benefit from [us] being in Chicago, which is a money center and the headquarters for many food and ag clients.”

Humphrey will serve as managing partner of Faegre Baker Daniels, and Baker & Daniels Chief Executive Partner Tom Froehle will become the combined firm's chief operating partner.

In addition to the two firms merging operations, B&D Consulting-a national advisory, public policy, and advocacy firm that operates as a division of Baker & Daniels-will become Faegre BD Consulting on January 1.

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

“We embarked on this journey from the beginning with our clients in mind,” Humphrey said in a statement. “Both firms identified strategic expansion as important to continue providing the high-quality services and expertise required by our clients. And that remains our focus: meeting the needs of our clients.”

Faegre & Benson had 304 licensed Minnesota attorneys as of April-more than any other firm within the state; Minneapolis-based Dorsey and Whitney, LLP was behind it with 269.