Tampa law firm Fowler White Boggs said Thursday it has merged with the Pittsburgh law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney to create one of the largest law firms in the country with about 530 lawyers and government relations professionals.
After a one-year transition, the Fowler White name will disappear and the combined firm will be known as Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. Until then, the merged firm's co-branded name in Florida will be Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney/Fowler White Boggs.
The merger confirms a January Tampa Bay Times story saying a combination was likely involving Fowler White's 90 lawyers and government relations professionals with Buchanan's nearly 450.
"Buchanan's geographic reach and practice strengths were key factors in our decision to combine with them," Fowler White CEO and chairman Rhea Law stated. Fowler White's emphasis on economic development matters creates opportunities to tap Buchanan's expertise in intellectual property, cybersecurity, health care and banking, she added.
The announcement said both firms enter the merger from "positions of financial strength with deep client relationships." But the merger also reflects the consolidation trend among law firms eager to cut costs and generate greater efficiencies in legal services.
Terms of the deal were not made public.
"This combination made sense from every angle," said Buchanan CEO Jack Barbour. "We were looking to increase our bench in Florida, but only with professionals from a firm with the same cultural values and strategic objectives as ours. Fowler White perfectly fit the bill."
Combined, the firm will have a presence in Miami and Fort Lauderdale of nearly 30 lawyers. Fowler's additional offices in Tampa, Fort Myers, Tallahassee and Jacksonville will bring the combined firm's total Florida lawyer count to more than 100.