Barnes & Thornburg LLP, a leading national law firm, announced its expansion today into Minnesota through an agreement with Minneapolis-based The Parsinen Law Firm P.A. All 22 attorneys, including 14 partners, are joining Barnes & Thornburg, which will provide the firm with a substantial presence in Minneapolis.
Effective July 1, the deal comes on the heels of Barnes & Thornburg’s recent expansion this year into Atlanta, Ga., and Columbus, Ohio, and marks the firm’s 10th office nationwide. Discussions between the two firms commenced in the fall of 2008.
“We are excited to enter the Minneapolis market with such a talented and respected group of attorneys as we continue to grow our national platform,” said Barnes & Thornburg Managing Partner Alan A. Levin. “As one of the leading business and financial centers of the Midwest, Minneapolis has long been recognized as a strategic market for us, and the Parsinen firm provides an excellent base for us to build a diverse practice.”
Strategically, the Parsinen lawyers bring highly complementary practices to Barnes & Thornburg. By joining forces with Parsinen’s practices, Barnes & Thornburg enhances the platform available to clients of both firms. Barnes & Thornburg attorneys gain expanded capabilities in practices focused on employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), employee and executive benefits, closely-held businesses, commercial real estate, and trusts and estate planning. The Parsinen Law Firm attorneys gain a national, full-service platform with leading practices in intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation and business law, among other areas.
Howard Rubin, managing partner of The Parsinen Law Firm, noted that while the firm continues to run a very profitable practice, as client relationships have grown, the firm has been increasingly forced to turn away and “refer out” additional business that did not fall into its core practice areas.
“We were looking for more breadth to offer our clients, and Barnes & Thornburg provided an ideal fit for us as a Midwest-based firm with a national presence,” explained Rubin. “Barnes & Thornburg maintains quality practices at a price point consistent with ours, adding immediate value to our clients. Just as important, while the broader legal industry is in a state of contraction, Barnes & Thornburg is a firm on the rise and has been capitalizing on the opportunities created by its value-focused business model.”
Both firms also entered the deal from positions of financial strength. Barnes & Thornburg maintains a strong and conservative balance sheet while the Parsinen Law Firm has operated profitably in Minneapolis since opening its doors in 1981.
Bucking the Trend
Amid the broader legal industry downturn, Barnes & Thornburg announced the opening of offices in Atlanta, its first in the Southeast, and Columbus, Ohio, in April. While other law firms across the country continue to employ a variety of cost-cutting measures, Barnes & Thornburg has not engaged in any attorney or staff reductions or delayed the start dates for any of its new attorneys.
“The marketplace is rewarding us for our value-focused strategy and we have identified a number of markets that provide attractive expansion opportunities based on the growing needs of our clients,” said Levin. “Similar to our approach in Atlanta, we view Minneapolis as a key business hub for our clients. We see a significant opportunity to reach out to existing Parsinen clients to further grow the firm’s already leading intellectual property presence in the Midwest, while also expanding a number of our other core practices.”
With more than 80 attorneys and patent agents across offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Washington, D.C., Barnes & Thornburg’s Intellectual Property Department is one of the top intellectual property practice groups in the country.
“Under this full-service platform, intellectual property is just one area where we will no longer have to turn away new client matters just because they are outside of our scope,” added Rubin. “In addition, we are very excited about the growth opportunities this combination creates for our clients in the areas of labor and employment, litigation, employee and executive benefits, and corporate work.”
“Building on this important milestone in our growth strategy, we continue to evaluate further expansion opportunities based on the needs of our clients,” said Levin. “We move with deliberation to maintain our efficient cost structure and level of client service, so our growth will continue to focus on markets where the dynamics make sense for us, like Minneapolis, as opposed to growth for the sake of growth.”
About Barnes & Thornburg LLP
With nearly 540 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from its offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio and Washington, D.C.
About The Parsinen Law Firm P.A.
Established in 1981, The Parsinen Law Firm is a 22-attorney law firm with established practice areas that include Personal Legal Planning, Commercial Real Estate, Corporate Law, ESOPs/ Employee and Executive Benefits, Employment Law and Business Litigation. For more information, visit www.parlaw.com.