Seattle, Washington.
Seattle, Washington. (Photo: f11photo/Shutterstock.com)

Fox Rothschild is expanding into Puget Sound after absorbing Seattle-based boutique Riddell Williams. The deal was approved by the partners at both firms late Monday.

“We’ve identified Seattle and the Pacific Northwest as a place that we want to be,” said Fox Rothschild chair Mark Silow in an interview. “It has all the attributes of what has proven to be a good market for us.”

The combination between both firms, which goes into effect on May 15, will see Fox Rothschild add 39 lawyers—31 partners and eight associates—to its corporate, employment, financial services, litigation and real estate practices. Linda Price, who works in the partner division at legal recruiting firm Audrey Golden Associates Ltd. in New York, brokered the deal by introducing Fox Rothschild and Riddell Williams six months ago.

“We’re very excited to find such a well-established firm [and] we think it’s a great fit,” said Silow (pictured right), who assumed the chairmanship of Fox Rothschild in April.

Fox Rothschild’s entry into Seattle continues an extended growth spurt for the firm, which completed its largest-ever merger less than 18 months ago by acquiring 82-lawyer Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in Minneapolis. Fox Rothschild subsequently hired five other partners in Minneapolis and earlier this year recruited a six-lawyer entertainment team in the Twin Cities and New York.

Fox Rothschild’s New York office also brought on a three-lawyer intellectual property group from Kenyon & Kenyon last summer and a six-lawyer startup group from Dentons in March. In its home city of Philadelphia, Fox Rothschild added two longtime Blank Rome partners last year to bolster its white-collar and tax controversy practices.

“Our approach is to build out a complete national footprint and to have offices in major metropolitan areas around the country,” said Silow, adding that his firm will continue its focus on capturing work from middle-market clients. “We believe in good, prudent growth, and I fully expect we’ll continue to [expand] past Seattle and look for other markets and other ways to grow.”

From 2015 to 2016, Fox Rothschild increased its total head count by 13 percent, from 615 to 697 lawyers. The firm, which closed its fiscal year on March 31, also grew its gross revenue by 14 percent, but revenue per lawyer and profits per partner remained flat. Since 2014, Fox Rothschild has added 134 lawyers to its ranks, not including those from Riddell Williams.

“We are excited to join an innovative, dynamic and growing firm,” said a statement by Riddell Williams CEO Joseph Shickich Jr., who will serve as Fox Rothschild’s managing partner in Seattle. “This allows us to mean more and be more for our clients, who will benefit from our new national platform and the resources of a full-service firm.”

Riddell Williams is more than a century old. In 1995, the firm entered into an affiliation agreement that it later ended with Graham & James, a large San Francisco-based firm that splintered in 2000 when large groups of lawyers joined what is now Greenberg Traurig and Squire Patton Boggs.

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