A niche law firm founded 12 years ago by a group of lawyers from LeClairRyan has a merger underway that will soon bring a new brand of national law to Richmond.
McGonigle, a 44-lawyer firm with an office in Innsbrook, is in the process of merging with Davis Wright Tremaine, which has about 550 lawyers nationwide.
McGonigle, originally known as Murphy & McGonigle, has had an office in the Richmond area since it was established in 2010 by a group of LeClairRyan lawyers with a focus on representing clients in the service industry financial. He has since grown his ranks of attorneys from 15 to 44, spread across offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Chicago.
This is in addition to its Innsbrook outpost, which is home to a team of four lawyers and around 10 support staff, all of whom will come as part of the deal.
The merger is expected to close on July 1. Davis Wright Tremaine will be the surviving brand in all corporate offices.
Bradford Hardin, a partner in Davis Wright’s Washington, DC office and chairman of its banking and financial services practice, said merger talks took place earlier this year. He said the talks were prompted by Davis Wright’s desire to bolster his ranks of lawyers representing financial services clients.
In particular, Hardin said Davis Wright had lawyers working for clients in consumer banking, payments and fintech, but McGonigle lacked a focus on securities and securities. capital market regulatory issues.
“In February, we were talking to a long-time client who asked us to work on a project and it had a large titles component,” Hardin said. “We could not assume this representation because we did not have the capacity.”
This company contacted McGonigle to team up or send him the reference and the talks progressed from there.
“The fit was immediately obvious,” Hardin said. “All of this complements but does not overlap with our existing financial services capabilities. On the McGonigle side, they had heard from customers for many years that the company, due to its boutique nature, lacked certain full-service capabilities.
Stephen Gannon, a partner in McGonigle’s Innsbrook office, echoed Hardin.
“The deal for us, in my opinion, is quite positive,” Gannon said. “It plays to where we’re already strong, but because we were a boutique, we couldn’t offer some of the standard things: corporate transactions, intellectual property, or payments.”
Gannon, who began his career at what was then known as Hunton & Williams and was also previously a partner at LeClairRyan, said the Innsbrook office will continue, including its large document production operation.
“The name on the door is set to change on July 1, but what changes under the hood is our ability to do more for our customers and have a broader geographic reach,” Gannon said.
Adding McGonigle’s 44 attorneys and 31 support staff will bring Davis Wright to a roster of approximately 600 attorneys and more than 1,500 employees in total.
The combined company’s largest office is the Davis Wright outpost in Seattle, where it was founded by John Davis. Its next largest offices are in Los Angeles and Washington, DC Its other offices are in Anchorage, Alaska; Bellevue, Wash.; New York City; and Portland, Oregon.
With the combined company’s Richmond-area office intact, Hardin said the company has yet to develop plans for future growth locally.
“It remains to be seen what the strategic plan will be for Davis Wright Tremaine in Richmond,” Hardin said. “Our primary target growth markets are New York and the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago.”