Am Law 200 firm Dinsmore & Shohl merges with Florida boutique, gaining Orlando office

Cincinnati-based firm adds 19 lawyers and nearly two dozen business professionals through merger with Mateer & Harbert

Am Law 200 firm Dinsmore & Shohl has expanded in Florida through a merger with local firm Mateer & Harbert.

The move sees Dinsmore add 19 lawyers and nearly two dozen business professionals from Mateer, including managing partner Tom Harbert. It also hands the firm a base in Orlando, its second in the Sunshine State after Tampa. 

Dinsmore said that Florida’s robust labour market and pro-business policies made it an attractive target for growth, adding that both firms viewed the merger as a win for long-term clients as well as new companies looking to relocate or expand their operations in central Florida. 

“More and more businesses are attracted to central Florida’s explosion in growth and development and they want to be a part of it,” said Dinsmore managing partner Josh Larentz, adding: “As we grow, we are conscious of preserving an environment where everyone works hard, but enjoys being with each other. Our clients feel it and are excited to be a part of it.” 

For its part Mateer & Harbert was founded more than 60 years ago and offers legal services to clients focused on healthcare, civil litigation, commercial real estate, eminent domain and construction law. Dinsmore said the new arrivals would work closely with its established Tampa teams to service healthcare industry clients as well as handle business transactions and commercial litigation matters. 

Harbert added: “Florida, and particularly central Florida, is a booming region and combining with Dinsmore will enable us to better serve our clients’ needs as their businesses continue to grow.

“Like Mateer & Harbert, Dinsmore is a well-established firm that has been around for a long time. As well as the common shared values between the firms, from the outset of merger discussions there was a mutual, positive connection and ‘feel’ which became stronger as discussions progressed.” 

The merger continues a busy 2023 for Dinsmore, which now has more than 750 lawyers spread across 30 US offices. The firm kicked off the year by merging with San Diego firm Mulvaney Barry Beatty Linn & Mayers, a move that saw it add 10 lawyers and a team of eight business professionals to its offices in Southern California. 

At the end of last month it expanded again on the West Coast when it added labour and employment partners Rachel McClintock and Kelsey Scherr in Los Angeles along with their team. The duo had been among more than 100 lawyers that left Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith in May to launch the boutique initially known as Barber Ranen, which was renamed Daugherty Lordan just weeks later following the disclosures of bigoted emails written by its former founding partners.

Florida’s booming legal market has also attracted the attention of major US firms, with Winston & Strawn, King & Spalding, Kirkland & Ellis and Sidley Austin all debuting in the state last year with the launch of offices in Miami

Top 70 US firm Venable also marked its Florida debut last November when it absorbed Genovese Joblove & Battista, a move that saw it add 30 lawyers across Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. 

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