244 lawyers 
| Indianapolis

Two business law-only firms teamed up to form Bingham Greenebaum Doll this January.

“The size we are now is a clear indication that we’re an importer of talent in our field and our region,” said co-chairman Phillip Scott.

Scott co-chaired Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, which teamed up with Bingham McHale to create a firm with offices in Cincinnati; Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky.; and Indianapolis, Evansville, Jasper and Vincennes, Ind.

Clients include PNC Bank, Gatorade Trust (which licenses PepsiCo Inc. to make Gatorade), health insurer Humana Inc. and thoroughbred horse breeding and racing operations in Kentucky.

Environmental law, international tax and intellectual property are growing practice areas, Scott said.

“I was once upon a time a football coach,” Scott said. “If you let me have more good players on my roster that you have, I’m probably going to whip you.”

205 lawyers
| Orlando, Fla.

A flood of contingency work in all kinds of practice areas prompted Orlando, Fla.-based Morgan & Morgan to add 34 nonpartner attorneys last year.

The firm’s commercial, wage-and-hour and mass torts work spiked last year, said founder John Morgan.

“We’ve found in this economic time people don’t have the money to litigate for years and years and years with some of these big firms, and they want somebody who has skin in the game,” Morgan said.

Plaintiffs’ steering committee work on the multidistrict litigation against BP Inc. stemming from the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf Coast oil spill has also kept the firm busy.

The firm has 10 other offices across Florida, including in Davie, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Kissimmee, Naples, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa and Tavares. Other offices are in Atlanta; Jackson, Miss.; and Memphis, Tenn.

185 lawyers
| Miami

Cole, Scott & Kissane is a full-service Miami-based law firm on a mission to blanket Florida’s legal market.

Cole Scott followed last year’s foray into Pensacola with its 10th Florida office in Bonita Springs this year. Four partners and 15 associates also joined the firm last year.

“We’ve been on a fairly consistent growth pattern of 15 percent to 20 percent a year, and that’s continued for the last five years,” said managing partner Richard Cole. “We’re hoping it’s because we give good quality service at a reasonable cost to the client base.”

Other offices are in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Key West, Naples, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

Corporate, insurance, civil litigation, employment and construction law are key practices, Cole said.

Clients range from the Travelers Cos. Inc. and Ford Motor Co. to “a variety of smaller companies that do all sorts of things where civil litigation is either threatened or actually occurs,” Cole said.

183 lawyers
| Oklahoma City

Things are more than OK at Oklahoma City-based full-service firm McAfee & Taft. The firm acquired 15-lawyer Tulsa boutique Eldridge Cooper Steichen & Leach, a litigation firm, last October and inherited work for several Fortune 100 clients, said McAfee managing partner Richard Nix.

That roster includes Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., Nix said. The boutique’s focus on civil litigation for the auto industry, commercial litigation, products liability and class action meshed well because litigation was McAfee’s largest practice.

“It allowed us to open up additional doors in a regional and national manner,” Nix said.

Including the acquisition, the firm brought on six partners and 15 associates last year.

“Our community and our state have been able to weather the tough economic times in a way that allowed our clients and firm to continue to be able to grow,” Nix said.

181 lawyers
| Minneapolis

Bowman and Brooke may be best known for its products liability defense prowess, but defending drug and medical-device makers and chemical manufacturers is also boosting the firm’s business.

The firm is one of the lead defense counsels for Toyota Motor Corp. in the sudden-acceleration multidistrict litigation. It’s the lead firm in multidistrict litigation against Yamaha Motor Corp. alleging defects of its Rhino all-terrain vehicle and helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc. in the National Football League concussion cases.

The caseload prompted the firm to open Austin and Dallas, Texas, offices in February 2011. Other offices are in Columbia, S.C.; Gardena and San Jose, Calif.; Phoenix; Richmond, Va.; and Troy, Mich.

In 2011, the firm added 15 partners and had a net gain of eight nonpartner lawyers. “There are a lot of opportunities with our existing clients, our new clients…[and] for partners at other firms,” said executive managing partner Paul Cereghini.

175 lawyers
| Indianapolis

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 practically guaranteed a fiscally robust outlook for health care law boutique Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman. “We’ve tied our wagon to a good horse inasmuch as we’ve focused on health care law,” said president and managing partner John Ryan.

The Indianapolis-based firm has grown pretty consistently across its offices, which are also in Milwaukee; Louisville, Ky.; and Troy, Mich. Last year, Hall Render brought on 17 new or lateral associates and three lateral partners.

Staying away from the more expensive cities on either coast has helped the firm keep overhead and rates in check, Ryan said. “That’s one way we’ve maintained a competitive edge during the economic downturn.”

One key national client is Ascension Health of St. Louis, which bills itself as the nation’s largest nonprofit health system.

“We’re still in a growth mode,” Ryan said.

174 lawyers
| Miami

Professional liability and business law shop Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer is all over the map with several new offices in disparate U.S. regions. Last year, the Miami-based firm opened offices in Chicago; Lexington and Louisville, Ky.; and West Palm Beach, Fla., said managing partner Eric Boyer.

The firm, which brought on 24 lateral partners and 44 associates last year, started 2012 by launching new outposts in Phoenix and Pensacola, Fla., Boyer said, adding, “We’re building a product of just good solid people, and that’s helping us get a larger market share.”

The firm also has offices in Cincinnati and Florida cities Fort Lau­derdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee and Tampa.

Boyer said there’s more work coming through the door in the firm’s key areas. They include defending general liability claims for corporations and professional liability work in many sectors, including health care, architecture and engineering, contracting, insurance and real estate.

168 lawyers
| West Palm Beach, Fla.

More than half of the 35 new lawyers at Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart last year came from two northern Florida groups.

In October, Gunster acquired the 10-lawyer real estate and land use law firm Pappas Metcalf Jenks & Miller in Jacksonville.

The following month, Gunster added nine lawyers, in health care, real estate, private wealth, business litigation and corporate law, from the Tampa office of Ruden McClosky, which is now part of Greenspoon Marder. All told, Gunster added 22 partners and 13 associates to the firm. It also has Florida offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee and Vero Beach.

“We’re trying to be the best commercial firm that’s only located in Florida,” said managing partner Bill Perry.

Commercial litigation, real estate, environmental and land use, private wealth services and health care are key practices.

Clients include AT&T Inc., financial rate Web aggregator Bankrate Inc. and investment manager Franklin Templeton Investments.

167 lawyers
| Boston

After an absence from the 2011 NLJ 250 list, Goulston & Storrs made a comeback with new hires in the corporate, private client and trust, and real estate groups.

Firmwide, Boston-based Goulston added four partners and 10 associates last year. “We have had some very strong lateral hiring over the last couple of years, particularly at the partner level,” said co-managing partner Doug Husid.

The firm also has offices in New York and Washington. Lawyers in its China practice either divide their time between a Beijing office and the United States or work stateside.

The firm’s real estate clients include Beacon Capital Partners LLC and Boston Properties Inc., universities such as Georgetown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and companies such as Costco Wholesale Corp. Under the firm’s corporate umbrella, its commercial finance group works with clients including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

166 lawyers
| Boston

A jump in elder care law and employment law work boosted Boston litigation firm Morrison Mahoney onto this year’s NLJ 250.

Not including replacement hires, the firm added eight new associates this year to keep up with the work, said managing partner Mark Harty. He said the nine-office regional firm stands out from the pack because it tries 45 to 50 cases per year to verdict.

“Not too many law firms do that across the country,” Harty said. “We’re not just a litigation firm; we’re a trial firm.”

The firm has three other Massachusetts offices in Fall River, Springfield and Worcester. Its other offices are in Hartford, Conn.; Manchester, N.H; New York; Parsippany, N.J.; and Providence, R.I.

Harty said the firm’s mainstays include medical malpractice work for insurers such as CNA HealthPro, legal malpractice work including for the Massachusetts Bar Association and products liability work for companies, including New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.

163 lawyers
| Dallas

Eye-popping wins like last September’s $391 million patent infringement judgment for Versata Software Inc. against global software giant SAP America Inc. have “gotten us a lot of business nationally,” said McKool Smith co-founder Mike McKool.

“Just to take advantage of that we’ve grown,” McKool said.

Also in September, Dallas-based McKool added 35 Los Angeles lawyers by absorbing Hennigan Dorman. The firm operates as McKool Smith Hennigan in California.

“Given the nature of our practice, California was important,” McKool said. “We’re still planning to move into northern California.”

Overall, the firm gained seven partners and 27 other lawyers in 2011. The firm also has offices in Austin, Houston and Marshall, Texas, as well as New York and Washington.

McKool said the firm has represented wireless network equipment company Ericsson Inc., medical manufacturer Becton Dickinson and Co. and military contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.

161 lawyers
| Chicago

Lawyers boomeranging back from the now-defunct Howrey to Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg boosted the firm’s growth last year.

More business, particularly in its intellectual property and technology transactions practice and its commercial leasing practice, also necessitated additional hiring, said managing partner Jerry Biederman. The one-office Chicago firm hired eight associates, three staff attorneys and a contract lawyer.

“We like to think we’re a very attractive place for both clients and for lawyers,” Biederman said. “We do occupy an increasingly unique niche in our market.…[There are] very few places clients can go if they want a high-end firm that isn’t really huge.”

The firm offers the same breadth and depth as a large national law firm, but it’s most known for its private-wealth services and securities litigation practices.

National clients include Citigroup Global Markets Inc., The Boeing Co., Hyatt International Corp. and Tyson Foods Inc.

Three firms landed on the NLJ 250 as the result of mergers of large, well-known firms. Edwards Wildman Palmer resulted from the merger of two firms on last year’s NLJ 250. So did Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

1,138 lawyers | New York

SNR Denton can thank the September 2010 merger of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal with U.K.-based Denton Wilde Sapte for its perch on the list at No. 18; the combined firm claims 1,138 lawyers.

585 lawyers | Boston

Edwards Wildman Palmer represents the combined forces of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge of Boston and Chicago-based Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, which joined in October. The new firm landed at No. 67, with 585 lawyers.

576 lawyers | Atlanta

A January 2011 merger created the 576-lawyer Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, which debuts at No. 71. The merger joined Kilpatrick Stockton of Atlanta and Townsend and Townsend and Crew of San Francisco.