Publication

Offit Kurman Absorbs Eaton & Van Winkle in NY Expansion Bid

Offit Kurman Featured in the New York Law Journal

By Lizzy McLellan, New York Law Journal

Baltimore-born midsized law firm Offit Kurman is looking further north for 2018, with plans to grow its ranks in the New York market and surrounding suburbs.

Its first move is to acquire most of what remains of a small firm with a long history in New York, Eaton & Van Winkle.

The deal is set to become official Feb. 1, when Eaton & Van Winkle’s 16 lawyers become part of Offit Kurman. They will stay in their office space at 3 Park Avenue in Manhattan and be joined by two of Offit Kurman’s five existing New York lawyers.

Eaton & Van Winkle has operated under its current name since 1965, and can trace its roots in the New York legal market back nearly 200 years. The firm had grown to about 40 lawyers in the early 2000s, then started to see “a particularly high loss of lawyers” in 2015, partner Ted Semaya said. So the partnership started looking at options for combining with another firm.

The deal is set to become official Feb. 1, when Eaton & Van Winkle’s 16 lawyers become part of Offit Kurman. They will stay in their office space at 3 Park Avenue in Manhattan and be joined by two of Offit Kurman’s five existing New York lawyers.

Eaton & Van Winkle has operated under its current name since 1965, and can trace its roots in the New York legal market back nearly 200 years. The firm had grown to about 40 lawyers in the early 2000s, then started to see “a particularly high loss of lawyers” in 2015, partner Ted Semaya said. So the partnership started looking at options for combining with another firm.

“We decided it would be hard to grow back with just ones or twos,” Semaya said. Becoming part of Offit Kurman, he said, allowed him and his colleagues to benefit from a larger footprint, complementary practice areas and more rate flexibility...

...because of the firm’s presence in lower rate markets. “There’s that terribly overused word, synergy, but the more smart heads you have in a group the better advantage there is to take things that come your way,” Semaya said. “There’s more things we can sell, we have a broader range of price points at which we can sell.”

The deal is not a merger in the legal sense, Offit Kurman chairman Ted Offit said, but Offit Kurman will be hiring many of Eaton & Van Winkle’s remaining lawyers and administrative staff, and they will bring their clients.

Offit Kurman is also in talks with another group of about 10 lawyers in the New York area, Offit said.

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ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN

Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 140 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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