Kansas City-based Am Law 200 firm Stinson Leonard Street has completed its second acquisition since the spring, adding two dozen lawyers in the St. Louis area.
After a merger with intellectual property firm Senniger Powers takes effect Oct. 1, Stinson will have about 75 lawyers in Clayton, Missouri, which borders St. Louis. The combination will add about 24 lawyers and 14 staff to the firm, managing partner Mark Hinderks said.
“We have a good IP group currently, but this will give us more depth in our technical specialties … so we can go after the highest level of IP business,” Hinderks said. “In the St. Louis market this gives us additional scale that will also be helpful.”
Hinderks said the merger advances the firm’s goal of developing its technology industry group, and helps improve efficiency in resource allocation and pricing for clients in the St. Louis area. He noted that the two firms have similar rate structures, so no merger-driven rate increases will be implemented.
Senniger Powers’ lawyers and staff will be moving into Stinson’s existing office space in Clayton, which Hinderks said is a “center of gravity” for clients in the St. Louis area. The two firms have some overlapping clients, he said, but there are also a number of Senniger Powers clients that will be new to Stinson.
Hinderks said he got to know Senniger Powers partner and executive committee member Robert Evans Jr. when they represented co-defendants in a patent litigation, before Hinderks became a managing partner. They worked closely together for several years on the litigation, he said, and stayed in touch since. Then this spring, they found themselves discussing the idea of a merger.
“We are excited for the opportunity to grow our resources in the St. Louis market and to expand our national reach,” Senniger Powers managing partner Kurt James said in a statement. “Our clients will greatly benefit from Stinson’s depth of experience in numerous practices and industries as well as cross-market collaboration.”
It’s the firm’s second market-expansion by merger this year. Stinson combined with Dallas-based Lackey Hershman in May, adding 16 lawyers and a new office in Dallas.
The firm in its current form can be traced back to a merger of near-equals back in 2013, when Kansas City-based Stinson Morrison Hecker combined with Minneapolis-based Leonard Street and Deinard. Leonard Street, the smaller of the two, was 208 lawyers at the time.
“Doing a merger is an opportunity to make more than incremental progress at one time to get mutual access to expanded client bases and to … extend into new practices that are already integrated pretty well together without you having to weave them together yourself,” Hinderks said. ”It is more of a giant leap.”