Chicago. Photo: Shutterstock.com

Three years after opening up an office in Chicago, Fox Rothschild is doubling its presence in the Windy City through the acquisition of Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin.

Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild could already boast 18 attorneys in Chicago, up from four when it announced the office in April 2015. But according to chairman Mark Silow, the size of the Chicago legal market demanded that the firm expand further.

“We felt the need to get dramatically bigger in Chicago to be a viable presence in a market that size,” he said. 

The 23 Shaw Fishman attorneys will officially link up with Fox Rothschild on June 11. That tally also includes two bankruptcy lawyers in Wilmington, Delaware, who will also be part of the merger.

Shaw Fishman, founded in 1988, is focused on bankruptcy, commercial litigation and real estate. Silow said the bankruptcy practices of the two firms were especially compatible. Among large firms, Fox Rothschild is unusual in representing unsecured creditors’ committees, the same work that Shaw Fishman handles.

“They really are leaders in the bankruptcy bar,” he said.

While the two firms will consolidate their Wilmington operations, they will initially continue to operate two separate Chicago offices for the next nine or 10 months, until Shaw Fishman’s lease expires.

“Then we’ll either expand our existing space or look for a new location to expand and consolidate,” Silow said.

Shaw Fishman name partner Robert Fishman called Fox Rothschild a “superb fit.”

“Not only do our client service philosophies align, but its national footprint provides us with an expanded reach that will greatly benefit our clients,” he said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be joining an innovative, dynamic and growing firm like Fox.”

Fox Rothschild has grown significantly in recent years. It completed its largest-ever merger in January 2016, acquiring 82-lawyer Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in Minneapolis. The firm then hired five other partners in Minneapolis and recruited a six-lawyer entertainment team in the Twin Cities and New York. The New York office also brought on a three-lawyer intellectual property group from Kenyon & Kenyon in 2016 and a six-lawyer startup group from Dentons in March 2017.

In May  2017, Fox Rothschild launched a Seattle office through a merger with 39-attorney law firm Riddell Williams.