As part of a merger that is slated to go live on October 1, 2020, nearly 100 legal professionals from California-based law firm Dowling Aaron will be joining the 250-plus lawyers and allied legal professionals of Fennemore Craig. The firm will continue to be known as Fennemore Craig in Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada, and it will be known as Fennemore Craig Dowling Aaron in California. The firm will have offices in 10 cities across the western United States.
Fennemore Craig’s CEO, James Goodnow, will remain chief executive of the combined firm, and Dowling Aaron’s President, Leigh Burnside, will join the new firm’s Management Committee. Sarah Strunk will continue as Chair of the firm’s Board of Directors. Named partner and Dowling Aaron Chair, Richard Aaron, will move into the position of California Region Chair.
“I think that the merger is great for both firms,” said George Krauja, who heads Fennemore Craig’s office in Tucson. “For us, we are getting quality lawyers with established practices. Our firm cultures are also very similar.”
The addition of Dowling Aaron offers greater reach in California. “Arizona businesses do a lot of business in California and there are times when our clients find themselves in litigation in California,” Krauja said. “This gives us a lot of depth in transactions and litigation.”
“We’re thrilled to join forces with Dowling Aaron, with both firms coming from a position of strength and unique alignment in business operations, practices, client bases, and cultures; even through the pandemic, by acting strategically and boldly, we’re paving the way to better serve all of our clients’ needs,” said Goodnow.
Key practice areas offered by the combined firms include agribusiness, water law, business and finance, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, construction, health care, business litigation, tax, trusts and estate planning, corporate bankruptcy, natural resources and environmental, ERISA and benefits, intellectual property, labor relations and employment law and emerging business.
In the Great Recession of 2008, many firms remained frozen on the sidelines, unable or unwilling to make changes, but the bold ones that made smart, strategic growth moves were largely the ones that proved to be winners to the present day. We believe this merger represents such an opportunity. Moving forward now demonstrates our commitment to our clients—and our positive, bullish outlook on the market and the legal industry.
“The time is great to do this,” added Krauja. “Some people are nervous because of the coronavirus and the impacts and unknowns of it. This is a transaction that we started talking about before the pandemic. We want to do it because it makes sense.”