Marshall Dennehey Acquires Bulk of NY-Based Jones Hirsch

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Thomas A. Brophy and James P. Connors
Thomas A. Brophy and James P. Connors

Jones Hirsch is "a 30-lawyer defense firm and it's become more difficult over time for small defense firms to do business because most of the larger insurance firms" have more technology demands and want to use larger firms on a statewide or regional arrangement, Brophy said.

Connors said his firm has found that to be a trend even with its larger self-insured clients. Jones Hirsch represents a number of security companies and manufacturers. He said these clients want to share their contracts with only a few firms that can implement them around the country rather than sharing with a number of local counsel across the United States.

Connors, whose firm has been in existence since 1978, said he has been approached several times over the years about merging. He said none of those discussions felt as right as this one did from both a business and cultural standpoint.

"They were a big us," Connors said of Marshall Dennehey.

Connors said discussions are still ongoing but he would expect most if not all of the firm's more than 30 lawyers to make the transition.

While he wouldn't put a dollar figure on the deal, Brophy said the firms share similar rate structures, with Jones Hirsch lawyers charging slightly more given they are New York-based. He said the two firms share similar clients and got the blessing of two of the larger mutual clients before deciding to merge.

Brophy said the firms selected a July 1 completion date for the acquisition, but it could happen sooner. Jones Hirsch has some leases that are expiring soon. Marshall Dennehey is currently renovating the Manhattan office to be able to house more attorneys. The firm's existing location on Long Island in Hauppauge is relocating to Melville. Brophy said that would take about 60 days and then the firms have to work on file transfers and technology issues.

Zack Needles contributed to this report.

Gina Passarella can be contacted at 215-557-2494 or at gpassarella@alm.com. Follow her on Twitter @GPassarellaTLI.

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