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Thorp Reed, Clark Hill to merge

Thorp Reed & Armstrong LLP, Pittsburgh’s eighth largest law firm, is merging with Clark Hill PLC, a Detroit-based firm twice its size. The combined entity will employ more than 300 lawyers in 12 offices; the five that were part of Thorp Reed will be known as Clark Hill Thorp Reed when the deal closes in the second quarter.

Financials were not disclosed.

In confirming the merger, Clark Hill CEO John Hern Jr. and Thorp Reed Managing Partner Jeffrey Conn each stressed that the transaction was not an acquisition as it involves partnerships.

It is the first merger involving one of the city’s 10 biggest firms. Clark Hill may be the first Detroit firm to enter Pittsburgh; it certainly is the largest.

Both firm chiefs said they will be better able to serve clients with more locations and expertise without hiking rates, and added there will be increased support for the lawyers. Thorp Reed, founded in 1895, employs about 90 lawyers, 73 of whom are based in Pittsburgh. Total employment here is about 150. Conn said there will be no staff cuts, and Hern said he plans to grow the Pittsburgh office as well as Thorp Reed’s other four sites, but did not divulge goals.

Lori Carpenter, president of recruitment firm Carpenter Legal Search, which has worked with Thorp Reed, said she doesn’t know Clark Hill well enough to comment on the cultural fit, “but this could be a be a wonderful opportunity for Thorp Reed to continue to grow its footprint.”

Read More: Thorp Reed, Clark Hill to merge - by Patty Tascarella, Pittsburgh Business Times

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