Taft Announces Merger

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Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, which employs nearly 200 in its Indianapolis office, is set to merge with a Chicago-based law firm. The move means Shefsky & Froelich will operate under the Taft name beginning in January. November 19, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP announced today that the highly respected Chicago law firm of Shefsky & Froelich will merge with Taft, effective January 2, 2014, and will operate under the Taft name.

"Because Chicago is a dominant financial hub, this merger is a very important and strategic expansion for Taft," said Robert J. Hicks, partner-in-charge of Taft's Indianapolis office and a member of its firm-wide Executive Committee. "Shefsky & Froehlich's sophisticated corporate and litigation capabilities, and its outstanding reputation in the legal, business and governmental communities, made it our clear first choice of firms in Chicago."

The merger, which was almost two years in the making, provides Taft with a very strong presence and deep relationships in Chicago which Shefsky & Froehlich has developed over 43 years. While Taft's regional footprint will provide significant additional bench strength to the former 70 lawyer Shefsky & Froelich firm, Taft likewise will realize a great benefit from such strong capabilities in Chicago because they will enhance Taft's offerings to its clients in other markets. As a merged firm, clients will have access to approximately 400 regional attorneys in eight cities with an even broader range of resources.

Cezar ("Cid") M. Froelich of Shefsky & Froelich said the merger was pursued after the two firms realized they held a common and shared approach to business. Though Shefsky has been courted over the last decade by many firms with household names in the legal community, Froelich said a merger with Taft made the most sense for both clients and employees.

"With this merger, we will strengthen our core practices, but we also will be able to provide many services and cover areas of expertise that we just couldn't before with a firm of 70 lawyers," he said. "Best of all, we will not change our client service culture and we will maintain our direct relationships with them. Our respective firm cultures and internal structures align remarkably well. We will be able to provide our clients with all the benefits of a large firm, while maintaining our historical fee structure and client attentiveness of a midsized firm."

The merger with Shefsky & Froelich marks Taft's eighth office in five states. Consistent with its strategic goal of being a dominant regional firm, the firm has expanded into other key Midwestern markets, including merging with the 100 lawyer Indianapolis firm, Sommer Barnard, in 2008. The merger extends the Taft footprint to Chicago, the financial hub of the Midwestern region, with a vibrant economy that is relevant to our clients in Taft’s other markets.

"Our mission is to be preeminent in our region, and to achieve that, a major presence in Chicago is essential. As business becomes more global and regional, having such a respected firm with talented attorneys on the ground in Chicago will benefit our clients in all of our offices," said Thomas Terp, Chairman and Managing Partner for Taft. "This addition is a key step in our continued, selective geographic growth."

Shefsky & Froelich was founded in 1970 and, despite being a mid-sized firm by Chicago standards, has since grown to be on a short list of respected and recognized firms in Chicago. This year marks one of the most successful financial years in the firm's history. With extensive experience in complex commercial transactions and specializing in areas like litigation and gaming, the firm serves highly specialized clients, Fortune 500 companies and government entities with a broad range of services.

Under Taft's unique management model, where mergers are simply not "takeovers," each office operates with a high degree of autonomy. Each office runs its own market, space and professionals, but with strong assets shared across practice areas from Taft’s broad regional platform. Terp said that approach will allow Shefsky’s long and successful business model to continue.

"With Shefsky's influence, relationships and reputation, this merger allows us to serve Taft clients in Chicago with the same quality and responsiveness as in other markets," said Terp. "I am confident that this merger will exceed our expectation."

About Shefsky & Froelich

Shefsky & Froelich Ltd. was founded in 1970 by a small group of highly motivated attorneys with extensive experience in complex commercial transactions. Clients range from state and local public bodies to highly specialized entrepreneurial firms to Fortune 500 companies with multinational operations. Attorneys and professional staff provide these clients with experienced, cost-effective legal representation in the areas of banking and financial institutions, corporate/business, employment law, private wealth, gaming, government regulation, health care, intellectual property, litigation, probate, real estate, securities and work-outs, and reorganizations. The firm's philosophy remains rooted in its founders' commitment to provide superior representation by combining the highest-quality legal skills with creativity, innovation, and imagination. More information about the firm is available on its Web site at www.shefskylaw.com.

About Taft

At Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, delivering outstanding legal performance to help clients succeed is what drives and motivates our more than 330 attorneys every day. Taft has offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Covington, Kentucky; and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm practices across a wide range of industries, in virtually every area of law, including Business and Finance; Litigation; Labor and Employment; Intellectual Property; Business Restructuring, Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights; Environmental; Health and Life Sciences; Private Client Services; Real Estate; and Tax. With a proven track record of experience since 1885, the firm offers breadth and depth of legal expertise coupled with a trusted business perspective to help our clients, big and small, regionally, nationally and internationally, reach their goals. For more information, please visit www.taftlaw.com.

Source: Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP