Smith Gambrell Russell and Freeborn & Peters to Mix, Creating World AmLaw 150 Agency

Mixture of companies with Southeastern and Chicago roots will end in a virtually 400-lawyer agency with 14 home and worldwide workplaces

ATLANTA & CHICAGO, January 24, 2023–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP and Freeborn & Peters LLP introduced at present that their respective partnerships have unanimously accepted a mixture of the 2 legislation companies. The companies – with a shared strategic imaginative and prescient and complementary high-value, top-tier markets and follow areas – will function below the Smith Gambrell Russell identify, efficient March 1, 2023.

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Stephen M. Forte, Smith, Gambrell & Russell’s managing companion and chair of the chief committee. (Picture: Enterprise Wire)

With robust transactional and litigation platforms, the mixture will end in a worldwide agency of practically 400 attorneys in 14 home and international workplaces, and greater than $260 million in gross annual revenues. Based mostly on these numbers, the mixed agency would have ranked roughly 132 on the 2022 Am Legislation 200 and 116 on the NLJ 500.

“As we started discussions of a doable mixture in August, it shortly turned clear that this was an distinctive alternative to deliver collectively two robust companies, with related collegial cultures, operations, and impressive plans for strategic enlargement in complementary geographic markets and follow areas,” stated Stephen M. Forte, SGR’s managing companion and chair of the chief committee. “We had a shared imaginative and prescient, and a mixture might speed up our development in a manner that single and small group lateral hires couldn’t. We are able to do collectively what we couldn’t do alone, and we are able to do it with out compromising our tradition.”

“It’s uncommon to see a mixture that’s so mutually useful. For us, it matches completely inside our strategic plan to bolster our company follow, develop to key markets throughout the US, and considerably develop within the extremely aggressive New York market,” stated Joseph T. McCullough IV, chair of Freeborn’s government committee. “This instantly achieves all these goals. The identical is true internationally in England and Germany the place SGR already has profitable workplaces. We do a considerable quantity of labor for London purchasers and have a big consumer base in Germany, and this provides the mixed agency an awesome platform to develop the work we do for purchasers in each nations as properly.”

The mixture aligns each companies’ follow space strengths. SGR’s present branded nationwide and international practices, significantly company and different transactional disciplines, are areas that Freeborn has been searching for to develop. Freeborn’s deep litigation bench augments the present litigation capabilities that SGR added in Chicago in 2022 by way of its mixture with litigation boutique Figliulo & Silverman P.C. “In lower than a 12 months, SGR has mixed with two impartial, Chicago-based legislation companies and is admittedly making a mark as an thrilling place to follow legislation,” stated James R. Figliulo of SGR, who might be co-managing companion of the Chicago workplace with Freeborn’s William E. Russell.

As well as, SGR’s home and international aviation finance, worldwide transactional, and mental property practices might be complemented by Freeborn’s acclaimed worldwide arbitration, chapter, and insurance coverage and reinsurance practices.

Freeborn and SGR are also equally aligned geographically. Each companies focus their legal professionals in excessive worth, top-tier markets, which embody overlapping strategic workplaces in Chicago and New York, and in Florida the place the mixed agency will add Tampa to its present footprint of Jacksonville and Miami. Freeborn’s robust Chicago model was significantly engaging to SGR, because it provides greater than 100 legal professionals in one of many nation’s most essential enterprise facilities. Following this mixture, the agency’s three largest workplaces by lawyer headcount might be in Atlanta (with roughly 140 legal professionals), Chicago (with roughly 110 legal professionals), and New York (with roughly 60 legal professionals). Each companies additionally obtain worldwide development goals by way of this mixture, with SGR’s present London and Munich workplaces offering a platform for Freeborn to raised service present and future worldwide purchasers, and SGR complementing its robust international company follow with Freeborn’s worldwide litigation capabilities. The footprint of the brand new agency lays the muse for future development in all its present key markets, domestically and internationally.

Forte added: “A major think about shifting ahead with this mixture was our capacity to develop our consumer service capabilities whereas making their transition nearly seamless. Whether or not a legacy SGR or Freeborn consumer or a brand new consumer, this mixture gives enhanced depth and breadth of service. They are going to have a single legislation agency that may expertly deal with all their work and accomplish that with the affordable charges, environment friendly operations, and client-first tradition they already know.”

The companies will share management tasks for the mixed SGR, with a mixture of SGR and Freeborn companions serving on the chief and compensation committees and in workplace and follow administration. McCullough might be a member of the chief committee, and Forte will stay the agency’s managing companion and chair of the chief committee.

About Smith Gambrell Russell

SGR is a full service, worldwide legislation agency that advises regional, nationwide, and international companies on a variety of authorized issues. The agency’s 285 attorneys present authorized counsel in additional than 45 specialised follow areas, together with company transactions, litigation, mental property, aviation, banking, actual property, development, employment legislation, and worker advantages and government compensation. Based in 1893, SGR has workplaces in Atlanta; Austin; Charlotte; Chicago; Jacksonville, Fla.; London; Los Angeles; Miami; Munich; New York; Southampton; and Washington, D.C. For extra info, please go to

About Freeborn & Peters

Freeborn & Peters LLP is a full-service legislation agency with worldwide capabilities and workplaces in Chicago; New York; Springfield, Unwell.; and Tampa, Fla. The agency serves purchasers throughout a broad vary of sectors and focused industries by way of its pioneering interdisciplinary strategy. Freeborn’s main achievements in litigation are reflective of the agency’s established fame as a Litigation Powerhouse®, with one of many largest litigation departments amongst full-service companies of its dimension. Freeborn absolutely embraces its core values of integrity, effectiveness, teamwork, caring and dedication, and embodies them by way of excessive requirements of consumer service and responsive motion. Freeborn is dedicated to all the time wanting forward and searching for higher methods to assist its purchasers obtain higher success. For extra info, please go to

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Luke Allingham
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