21 Dec 2021

New England’s Verrill strengthens Boston presence with Rackemann combination

Deal grows Portland-based firm's Boston attorney headcount to 60 as duo cite cultural and practice fit

Portrait photographs of Francesco A. De Vito and K C Jones

Francesco A. De Vito (right) and K C Jones

New England regional firm Verrill Dana has combined with Rackemann Sawyer & Brewster in a move that will significantly grow Verrill’s presence in the city.
 
The deal will see Rackermann’s staff – including 24 attorneys – relocate to Verrill’s Boston office with the combined firm operating as Verrill.

It will go live on 1 January, boosting Verrill’s Boston attorney headcount to 60 and its overall tally to nearly 150 lawyers. That should be enough to move the Portland-based firm from 318th in the NLJ 500 US ranking of law firms by size into the top 300.
 
Both firms have long histories having been founded within 15 years of each other: Verrill in 1862 and Rackermann in 1873. 
 
Rackermann boasts particular expertise in real estate, trusts and estates and insurance regulatory law while Verrill is a full-service firm with highlighted practice areas that include health care and life sciences, IP and government and public relations.
 
Verrill managing partner K.C. Jones said: “Together, we are able to grow our Boston presence strategically and enhance the depth and quality of services we can offer to our respective clients.”
 
Rackemann managing director Francesco A. De Vito said the two firms enjoyed a cultural and practice fit.
 
He added: “Most importantly, we concluded that a combination would allow us to better serve our clients by offering more depth and a wider range of legal services. The conversations that ensued led both firms to conclude that we would be stronger together.”
 
Alongside its offices in Boston and Portland, Verrill also has a principal office in Westport, Connecticut. It has additional offices in Augusta (Maine), Providence, Washington DC and White Plains.
 
Research published by Fairfax Associates in October, found US law firm merger activity to be lagging pre-pandemic numbers despite a rebound in Q3, when eight mergers were completed, including Holland & Knight’s tie up with Dallas-based energy specialist Thompson & Knight.
 
Earlier this month, Am Law 200 firms Arent Fox and Schiff Hardin announced they will merge on 1 March next year, catapulting the combined firm into the Am Law 100. Washington DC-based Crowell & Moring has sealed two US mergers this year: with Chicago-based tech and IP firm Brinks Gilson & Lione and Wall Street boutique Kibbe & Orbe.

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