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Thomson Reuters Institute

Podcast: Leveraging strength — Faegre Drinker’s merger amid an uncertain market

A new podcast on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel features a conversation with Andy Kassner and Tom Froehle, the co-managing partners of Faegre Drinker.

The first half of 2020 has seen a dramatic slowdown in the number of law firm mergers and combinations, particularly in comparison to the previous several years which each set new records for firm mergers. Despite the slowdown, some notable combinations have been announced and finalized, such as the combination of Indianapolis-based Faegre Baker Daniels and longstanding Philadelphia firm Drinker Biddle & Reath.

First reported in December 2019, the combination went into effect in February. A scant six weeks later, the newly minted Faegre Drinker found itself in a substantially different legal market than the one it had planned on entering as a newly combined entity.

In a new podcast on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel, we recently had a chance to speak with Andy Kassner and Tom Froehle, the co-managing partners of Faegre Drinker, about why the firms felt this was the right time for a merger, and what reality looks like now amid the rapid changes in the legal market.


You can listen to the full podcast about the Faegre Drinker merger here.


The initial impetus behind the merger was driven from each respective firm toward the middle. Both of the legacy entities had undergone long-term strategic planning to examine how best to evolve their practices and serve their clients into the new decade. As the two entities became more acquainted with each other, they came to realize that they had very similarly aligned strategic goals, and that each brought to the table many of the tools necessary to fulfill that vision. It was not a merger for the sake of growing the firms, as Kassner and Froehle explain. Rather, the prime force was how the merger would quickly drive growth in terms of what the firms could together offer to their clients.

The response from the firm’s partners and clients has been very positive. In the podcast, Kassner and Froehle shared their thoughts around the challenges posed by combining firms in this market, the extremely positive impact the merger has had on the new firm’s ability to attract potential lateral partners, and advice they would share with leaders of other firms considering a merger during this tumultuous time in the legal economy.

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