Sommer Barnard Merges With Ohio-Based Law Firm, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Enlarges Midwest Footprint and Expands Professional Services to Clients

Apr 30, 2008, 01:00 ET from Sommer Barnard PC

    INDIANAPOLIS, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Sommer Barnard PC announced
 today it is merging with the prominent Ohio-based law firm Taft Stettinius
 & Hollister LLP, effective May 1.
     With the merger, Taft grows to 320 attorneys and operates offices in
 Cincinnati, Dayton, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Covington, Kentucky;
 Phoenix, Arizona; Beijing, China; and now Indianapolis, Indiana. The Sommer
 Barnard name will transition to Taft. Sommer Barnard operates in two
 locations in Indianapolis, downtown and on the north side.
     Sommer Barnard's managing partner, Robert Hicks, said, "As a result of
 our clients' success, the volume and sophistication of their needs are
 continually evolving. To maintain the high level of service we've always
 offered, we needed to enhance the depth and breadth of our practice areas.
 Taft is one of the most established law firms in the Midwest, and is
 well-known and respected nationally. Taft is a larger version of Sommer
 Barnard, and follows the same guiding principles in servicing its clients
 and maintaining an outstanding workplace environment."
     As part of the merger, Hicks will become Partner-in-Charge of Taft's
 Indianapolis offices, and Hicks, Frank Deveau and Michael Terrell will join
 the new firm's ten-member Executive Committee.
     In announcing the merger, Taft's Managing Partner, Thomas Terp, said,
 "The leadership and professionals at Sommer Barnard share our values of
 personal service, creativity and performance-driven attitude, and are a
 great fit for us as we expand into the Indianapolis market. They are
 superior lawyers who value teamwork and client service, and we are proud to
 have them join the Taft team."
     Hicks and Terp said the combined strengths of the two firms give the
 new firm greater competencies in meeting a variety of business and
 individual legal needs. Those services include business and finance,
 litigation, environmental, real estate, labor and employment, intellectual
 property, healthcare, bankruptcy, personal services and tax.
     Why Merge?
     Hicks said Sommer Barnard was seeking ways to expand its services and
 diversify its client footprint into different economic centers.
 Coincidentally, Taft's Executive Committee had been analyzing a potential
 merger, seeking ways to enlarge the firm's Midwest presence and build upon
 its strengths. Terp had experience working previously with both founder
 William C. (Bill) Barnard, and a current member of Sommer Barnard's
 Executive Committee, Frank Deveau.
     "Several months ago, one conversation led to another and it became
 clear that the professional and personal synergies were a great match,"
 Terp said. He added both firms are involved in the communities where they
 have operations, and that won't change. "Our management and associates are
 committed to not only delivering excellent legal work, but also being good
 corporate citizens," Terp said. "Community involvement has always been a
 priority at Sommer Barnard and that core value will remain instilled in our
 organization," Hicks added.
     "We're excited about this merger because we get the best of both
 worlds," said Hicks. "We continue to operate independently in Indianapolis,
 with the same management and team in place as before, while adding the
 expertise and depth of resources gained by the merger with Taft."
     More on Sommer Barnard and Taft
     Sommer Barnard has more than 100 attorneys and was founded 40 years
 ago. It has offices in downtown Indianapolis and on the north side at
 Keystone at the Crossing. The firm's founders, James K. Sommer and William
 C. Barnard, started Sommer Barnard in 1968 as a business litigation
 boutique that has grown to a full-service law firm serving local, regional
 and national business clients.
     Taft is a full-service firm with offices in Cincinnati, Columbus,
 Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio; Covington, Kentucky; Phoenix, Arizona; and
 Beijing, China. With more than 220 attorneys and a 122-year track record of
 experience, the firm came to have not only local prominence, but national
 stature as well. The firm's Labor Department, led by J. Mack Swigert, was
 instrumental in helping Senator Robert A. Taft draft 1947's ground-breaking
 Taft-Hartley Act.
     Together, the merged firm has many lawyers who have been recognized for
 their professional accomplishments. For example, 72 attorneys are listed in
 the latest edition of the Best Lawyers in America, 28 attorneys are cited
 in the most recent edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for
 Business, and 64 were identified recently as Indiana Super Lawyers and Ohio
 Super Lawyers.
History/Background - Sommer Barnard PC -- James Sommer and William Barnard started the business in 1968 as Sommer & Barnard PC. -- The practice initially focused on complex business litigation, environmental litigation and antitrust and securities law. -- Located in Indianapolis, IN. -- Acquired Ancel & Dunlap in December 2001 adding 7 attorneys to the bankruptcy practice group. This formed one of the state's largest and most experienced bankruptcy and business workouts practice groups. -- Merged with Washington D.C.-based, The Ackerson Group, to form Sommer Barnard Ackerson in August 2002. The two firms split in July 2004 and the firm became Sommer Barnard PC. -- Today, Sommer Barnard is a full service law firm with over 100 attorneys. Primary practice areas include litigation, business law, business workouts and creditors' rights, environmental law, government services, health and life sciences, intellectual property, labor and employment, real estate, tax and trusts and estates. Growth: -- From 2000 - 2002, the firm expanded from 42 attorneys to 80+. -- In March 2002, Sommer Barnard created Ginovus, an economic development service firm that helps growing and emerging businesses achieve their financial and operational goals. -- Sommer Barnard was listed as the 7th largest firm in Indianapolis in IBJ's Largest Indianapolis-Area Law Firms, March 2008.

SOURCE Sommer Barnard PC