A rose by any other name is pretty much still a rose but there’s a lot more to a name change when it’s the result of a merger of a national law firm and one of North Carolina’s best known firms.
In November, Greensboro-based Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP merged with Fox Rothschild, a national law firm with more than 900 attorneys in 27 offices.
Kim Gatling, a partner with Smith Moore who said there are a lot of moving pieces to any big merger of this type, also said that Smith Moore is already enjoying the benefits of being part of such a large national firm.
Gatling made her remarks at a meeting of local economic development leaders and elected officials.
“We are in the throes of integration but we think it’s going well,” she said.
Smith Moore, a North Carolina firm with a presence in South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, is making adjustments to being a part of the much larger firm.
Gatling said that, just as in other industries, there were also big acquisitions taking place in the legal field, and Smith Moore, which “has its roots very deep in Greensboro,” was not immune to that trend.
“So we went from about a 150-member law firm, only in the Southeast, to now a 900-member law firm that is very heavily concentrated in the Northeast and has a Midwest, West Coast and southern presence as well, but it did not have a Southeast presence so we fit perfectly into the footprint to make now a national footprint in the combined firm.”
Gatling said Smith Moore is already reaping the benefits of being part of the larger firm.
“We just landed a big deal this week with a company based in High Point because we were able to fill the team with attorneys who can speak Mandarin – which we did not have at Smith Moore Leatherwood – as part of the combined firm.”
She also said one thing that helped land the deal with the High Point company is that Fox Rothschild also had expertise a particular area of law of that Smith Moore did not have.
Gatling said, “We’re real excited about that and hope that combined firm will help bring in even more work even from local companies.”
According to Gatling, area attorneys have seen a general uptick in business so that was benefiting her firm as well.