Troutman Sanders completes merger with Pepper Hamilton
Richmond is one of the largest of Troutman Pepper's 23 offices
After postponing its original April 1 merger date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta-based law firm Troutman Sanders LLP and Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton LLP announced Wednesday they have merged to become Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP (Troutman Pepper).
Among Troutman Pepper’s 23 nationwide offices, the Richmond location is one of the newly merged law firm’s largest, behind only Troutman Sanders’ legacy office in Atlanta and Pepper Hamilton’s legacy Philadelphia office.
Troutman Sanders had long been one of the largest law firms in the Richmond region, along with McGuireWoods LLP, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP and Williams Mullen. But now with the merger, Troutman Pepper becomes the largest Richmond firm, in terms of total firm size, says Brooks Smith, managing partner of Troutman Pepper’s Richmond office, who will continue in his position during the merger. The Richmond office has 130 lawyers and 250 total employees.
“My vision for Richmond is to continue to grow our Virginia presence to meet the needs of our clients,” Smith says. “We’re very much growth focused.”
Pepper Hamilton did not have any attorneys working from Virginia and there are no plans right now to move any former Pepper Hamilton attorneys to the commonwealth, says firm spokesperson John Reynolds. Troutman Pepper also has a location in Virginia Beach with 40 lawyers and 70 total employees. Troutman Sanders also had a Northern Virginia office, which was merged into its Washington, D.C., office in May 2018.
“The excitement we feel in Richmond is born out of all these new capabilities in the merge,” Smith says. “We get new colleagues and new practice expertise. We get access to Pepper’s client base. And we get all of the support of a deeper bench to try to provide service to our local clients.”
The merger creates a national law firm with more than 1,100 lawyers representing clients in sectors including health sciences, energy, real estate, insurance, finance, private equity, construction and technology. The joint firm will be led by Chair and CEO Steve Lewis, former managing partner of Troutman Sanders.
“The mission of our firm is a higher commitment to client care,” Lewis said in a statement. “We will surpass what clients expect or appreciate, focusing on what they value. Our expanded capabilities and bigger footprint will allow us to deliver a new level of service to our clients.”
During the period when the merger was postponed, the firms partnered to launch a COVID-19 Resource Center, providing clients guidance on legal and business issues related to the pandemic.
“Delaying the merger allowed us to prioritize the health and safety of our people,” Lewis said in a statement. “In the interim, our firms have come together in meaningful ways to guide clients through this difficult time. As our industry and indeed all industries continue to grapple with the challenges created by the health crisis, we know that we are stronger as one firm and choose to move forward together.”
With the merger now completed, firm leaders say Troutman Pepper plans to focus on talent and innovation.
“Excellent attorneys have been the foundation of both firms, and we will continue to be at the forefront of the industry in developing and supporting our outstanding legal talent,” said Troutman Pepper Vice Chair Tom Gallagher in a statement. “How we treat one another, create welcoming workplaces, and give back to our communities were values each of our firms honored. They are the foundation of the Troutman Pepper culture.”
As a corporate partner to Startup Virginia, the firm also looks forward to integrating Pepper’s existing SEED program, focused on helping startup companies and early-stage entrepreneurial companies, Smith says. Pepper has provided holistic legal support to more than 300 of these businesses.
“We’ve really tried to focus our efforts and our mentorship on a group of early-stage entrepreneurs, so I’m excited to bring SEED to Virginia,” Smith says. “We’ll be able to leverage that experience from Pepper and do better and more for those startups.”
Troutman Pepper has also appointed Tom Cole as managing partner and Andrea Farley as chair of the firm’s partner compensation committee.
Department chairs include:
- John West, Business Litigation Department
- Rachael Bushey, Health Sciences Department
- Amie Colby, Regulatory & Finance Department
- Bill Belanger, Specialized Litigation Department
- Mason Bayler, Transactional Department