Elder law is an area of growing importance for law firms in an era of boomging numbers of baby boomers. In Hartford Connecticut the aging population has created a law firm merger for the growing – ageing – population base.
Law firm mergers and acquisitions continue apace, especiallyl among small firms seeking scale and a broader offering to their client bases in an increasingly competitive business.
In 2013, consultancy Altman Weil reported that 88 law firm mergers were announced in the U.S., up 47 percent from a year earlier.
Berlin’s CzepigaDaly and the Law Offices of Sharon L. Pope in Hartford recently announced a deal to merge and operate as CzepigaDalyPope.
Paul Czepiga and Brendan Daly opened CzepigaDaly in 1998; Pope started her firm six years ago.
With 30 staffers, including eight attorneys and offices in Berlin, Hartford, Vernon, and Simsbury, they become one of the largest elder and estate planning legal firms in Connecticut. Brendan Daly, managing partner and principal at CzepigaDaly, said the two firms discussed the merger for three years with the intention of creating a one-stop shop for elder care legal services.
“All of our practice areas are complementary, and each firm really expanded its services and the quality of care we give to our clients,” Daly said.
It was the highest number of law firm combinations in at least seven years and several deals occurred in Connecticut: Farmington’s Levy & Droney joined forces with Hinckley Allen, and Pullman and Comley absorbed lawyers from Hartford’s Sullivan Schoen Campane & Connon.
“These kinds of deals are smart, low-risk moves to enter new markets and acquire new clients, and we expect the trend to continue in 2014,” said Altman Weil principal Ward Bower.
Daly said establishing trust and a smooth transition were two important factors to moving forward with their deal. Both firms teamed up together on numerous cases over a three-year period to ensure they could work together. And Daly said it was crucial the merger did not result in layoffs.