In its second merger announcement in two weeks, Ballard Spahr has reached a deal to add 25 lawyers from media law boutique Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz.
The combination, announced Tuesday and effective Oct. 1, will add lawyers to Ballard Spahr’s Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, and Denver offices, growing the firm’s media and entertainment law group.
“With the arrival of LSKS, we will have one of the largest practices of its kind in the country,” Ballard Spahr chairman Mark Stewart said in a statement.
In its own announcement Levine Sullivan, noted Ballard Spahr’s “burgeoning” media practice, and said its larger national platform will allow Levine Sullivan’s lawyers to serve clients more effectively.
The Levine Sullivan merger news comes on the heels of Ballard Spahr’s announcement last week that it was bolting on Lindquist & Vennum, a 150-lawyer Minneapolis-based firm, effective Jan. 1. When both mergers are complete, Ballard Spahr will have a total head count of 675.
Levine Sullivan has been involved in several high profile media and First Amendment cases of late. The firm recently represented The New York Times, as it successfully fought a defamation claimbrought by Sarah Palin. It also represented the Associated Press as it sought to unseal court documents in civil litigation against Bill Cosby.
Since its founding about 20 years ago, Levine Sullivan has represented nearly every major newspaper and network in some of the most high profile defamation cases and its lawyers include the top authorities on media law.
Its headcount has remained under 30 attorneys. And just this summer the boutique lost three top partners and two associates to a much larger media law firm, Davis Wright Tremain. Some of these partners had worked on its most recent notable cases, including Katherine Bolger, who was part of a Levine Sullivan team representing the estate of the late Chris Kyle, a sniper for the Navy SEALs, and Washington, D.C., partner Nathan Siegel, whose clients have included ABC News, Tribune Co. and ESPN in defamation lawsuits.
This is a developing story.