Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr is about to get 14 lawyers bigger.

The firm announced today that it has acquired Stillman & Friedman, a small New York firm that specializes in white collar defense. Founding partner Charles Stillman says the merger will give his firm’s specialized practice a national reach.

“It’s a new opportunity,” Stillman told the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. “With the changing face of the practice of law … you just need a bigger platform.” Stillman & Friedman has handled many high profile white collar defense cases, including that of Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager accused of insider trading last year.

The acquisition of the firm almost doubles Ballard Spahr’s existing white collar defense practice, which before today consisted of 15 lawyers. It also gives the firm a New York presence.

“We took a long view on entering the New York market, a thoughtful approach that would complement our strengths, preserve our values as a firm, and dovetail with our strategy to enhance our litigation platform and our geographic reach,” Ballard Spahr Chair Mark Stewart said in a statement. “We are particularly excited about bringing our lawyers together with Charlie Stillman, Julian Friedman, and the team they have built. They are among the best in the business, and they are genuinely fine people.”  

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