These days, it’s an all-too-frequent occurrence: Two large regional law firms merge to attain efficiencies of scale. And when Froyheuser Block Cotler Yodie Steinshock Umbreen Port Rothower Hortimer Tenglen Farthley Smith announced it was joining forces with Sothensby LLP, the capability for synergy was obvious. For years, rumors swirled that Sothensby, a 70-person litigation boutique, was in the market for more names, and it was only a matter of time before one of the so-called “mega-named” firms swept into accommodate.
Many firms these days are seeking to add name depth in order to compete with firms that can have hundreds, up to thousands, of names, a group of legal outfits collectively referred to as “BigName.” Debra Parksner, Sothensby’s managing partner, was recent quoted as saying that she had been in the market to acquire a legal outfit containing regal surnames, only to find that demand far exceeded supply and such firms demanded exorbitant buy-outs prior to any partnership.
Barring that, sources said, Parksner investigated deals to add last names beginning with the letters “q”, “x,” or “y.” But few saw a move of this magnitude as realistic; not only did Sothensby add “Yodie,” but also three three-syllable names with “-er” suffixes, a known indicator of lawyer professionalism. Now, experts say Froyheuser Block Cotler Yodie Steinshock Umbreen Port Rothower Hortimer Tenglen Farthley Smith Sothensby LLP will have unparalleled clout amongst BigName firms, with numerous etymologies spanning the globe.