Pittsburgh's Thorp Reed to Merge With Detroit-Based Clark Hill

, The Legal Intelligencer

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Thorp Reed Managing Partner Jeffrey J. Conn

Conn said he then received a call "out of the blue" from Clark Hill Chief Executive Officer John J. Hern Jr.

The two agreed to meet for lunch, where they had what Conn called an "introductory discussion."

But, according to Conn, it wasn't until Thorp Reed began redoing its strategic plan that it decided to seriously entertain merger inquiries by other firms.

Eventually, Conn said, it became clear that Clark Hill was the best fit for Thorp Reed.

"We have very similar cultures, a very similar management philosophy and very similar rate structures," Conn said.

Hern, speaking to The Legal on Friday, agreed, saying Thorp Reed "fits squarely in the bull's-eye" of his firm's strategic plan, explaining that the two firms have very complementary practices.

"There's a high degree of overlap which allows us to increase bench strength and to provide industry depth of knowledge, which will really help us provide value for our clients," Hern said.

Conn noted that while the two firms have a number of compatible litigation and corporate practices, they don't presently share many clients.

"As you see, we have no overlap in our locations, so that's a good thing," Conn said. "As far as clients are concerned, obviously we have some common clients but for the most part we'll have a client base that's pretty diverse. There isn't a lot of overlap there."

The two firms also bring some new capabilities to each other, Conn said.

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