Two large U.S. regional law firms, including one that has operations in Richmond, have agreed to merge, creating a combined staff of 1,100 lawyers with 23 offices across the country.
The merger between Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders and Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton will be effective April 1, the firms announced Thursday. Both firms’ partnerships approved the deal earlier this week.
The combined law firm officially will be called Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP, or Troutman Pepper for short.
Troutman Pepper “will offer its clients greater resources and bench strength, enhanced practices and expanded geographical reach,” the firm said.
“Our firms’ complementary practice strengths and hallmark focus on client care make this merger ideal for our clients,” said Steve Lewis, managing partner of Troutman Sanders, who will serve as chair and chief executive officer of the combined firm.
Troutman Pepper will have an office in eight of the 10 largest U.S. markets. The firm said its expanded footprint creates more robust practices in the Southeast, Northeast, West Coast and Midwest and provides a foundation for further strategic growth.
The Richmond office of Troutman Sanders is the firm’s second-largest in terms of the number of lawyers. The Richmond office, which operates from the Riverside on the James building, has 125 attorneys.
That office has its roots in Mays & Valentine, an old-line Virginia firm that merged with Troutman Sanders in January 2001.
Two of the five department chairs in Troutman Pepper are partners in the Richmond office — R. Mason Bayler, who chairs the firm’s transactional practice and is an executive committee member; and John S. West, who chairs the business litigation department and had served as the managing partner for its Richmond office from 2011 to 2018.