National law firm Clark Hill PLC is absorbing the Las Vegas branch of Morris Polich & Purdy LLP.
The Las Vegas branch is part of a larger deal involving Morris Polich & Purdy’s other California offices.
Los Angeles-based Morris Polich & Purdy LLP also has branches in San Francisco and San Diego. They opened their Las Vegas branch in 1996.
“The office has gradually grown since then,” said George Brandon, partnership development leader at Morris Polich & Purdy LLP. The Las Vegas office has eight attorneys.
Kevin Demorest, Clark Hill’s director of finance, said the Detroit-based firm was looking to represent some of its clients who had moved to California, and had to find a firm to acquire in order to comply with the State Bar of California rules on out-of-state representation.
Morris Polich & Purdy was the right fit based on company values and client needs, and they have a branch in Las Vegas.
“We viewed the Vegas opportunity as one that was beneficial and complementary,” Demorest said. “We’ve looked at opportunities there in the past, but we never quite found the right one.”
He said Las Vegas is seeing a lot of new growth and economic activity, which makes it “very attractive to us to be part of it.”
Clark Hill currently serves several clients in Nevada, including some casinos as well as clients in the real estate and construction industries.
Demorest said Clark Hill intends to grow the Las Vegas office, but did not offer specifics saying only, “We intend to grow quickly and sustainably.”
“Any growth like that, even modest growth can be good, provided it really is growth,” said Stan Hunterton, who serves as bar counsel for the State Bar of Nevada. “If they’re just rearranging the deck chairs that doesn’t make much difference.”
Morris Polich’s offices in Las Vegas, San Francisco San Diego and Los Angeles will operate under the name Clark Hill effective July 17, equipping Clark Hill with 450 attorneys nationally.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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After absorbing of Morris Polich, Clark Hill will have 16 offices in nine states and Washington, D.C.
Law firm mergers and acquisitions are on track for another record year.
According to law firm consulting agency Altman Weil Inc.
— There were 52 mergers and acquisitions during the first quarter of this year, up from 48 during the first quarter of 2016.
— There were a total of 85 mergers and acquisitions in 2016 and 91 in 2015, the most ever recorded.
— There have been eight acquisitions of Nevada firms between 2007 and 2016, according to a report by Atlman Weil MergerLine report. California had the most number of mergers and acquisitions in that time period, with 78.