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D.C. hasn’t been the best of towns for Minneapolis-based law firms. But that hasn’t stopped at least one new firm from trying: Gray Plant Mooty. The 160-lawyer shop made its first bid last week, raiding D.C. boutique Schmeltzer, Aptaker & Shepard’s seven-attorney franchise group. The group, which counts clients including Baskin Robbins, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Coldstone Creamery, is something of a sweet deal for Gray Plant, giving it closer access to the Federal Trade Commission, which regulates franchises. “It gives us the opportunity to be with a larger firm,” says Robert Fisk, group chair. Schmeltzer, however, will be left with just more than 30 attorneys. Partner Edward Levin isn’t concerned. “You have to understand that all of the practice groups are sort of self-sustaining,” he says.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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