Southeastern U.S. law firms ink 550-lawyer merger

(Reuters) – Alabama-based Maynard Cooper & Gale and Carolinas-based Nexsen Pruet will merge to form a 550-attorney law firm called Maynard Nexsen after the first quarter of 2023, the firms said Thursday.

Maynard’s managing shareholder, Jeff Grantham, will add the role of CEO to his current title when the firms combine. Leighton Lord, Nexsen Pruet’s current chairman, will become president and chief strategy officer.

Grantham and Lord, who attended Vanderbilt University Law School together, said they began to casually discuss combining their firms before the pandemic.

Lord said he was attracted by the chance to gain a larger geographic footprint by joining a firm with shared clients. He also said the firms charged similar rates, which helped with compatibility.

Maynard has about 350 lawyers spread across 15 offices in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Iowa, California, Florida, Tennessee, New York and Washington, D.C. Nexsen has about 200 lawyers, with eight offices in the Carolinas and one in Austin, Texas.

The combined firm will also maintain about 50 professionals who will work on public relations, e-discovery and litigation technology support matters through subsidiary companies, Lord said.

On Tuesday, Maynard separately announced that it is absorbing a four-attorney Austin-based firm, Soltero Sapire Murrell, in an effort to grow its litigation and transactional practices in Texas. Grantham said the Austin lawyers will soon be working out of one office, and the combined firm will continue to grow in the Texas capital.

Lord said Nexsen is eager to expand its public securities and government solutions practice with the merger. Grantham said Maynard has been looking to develop a construction practice and will draw on Nexsen’s expertise in that area.

On Wednesday, Florida-founded global law firm Holland & Knight said it would be merging with 280-attorney Nashville firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis.

At least six other mergers have taken effect since the start of the year, mainly between medium and large firms, according to legal industry consulting firm Fairfax Associates.

Read More:

Law firm mergers gained steam in 2022, with more on the way in 2023

Holland & Knight to merge with Nashville law firm in first big 2023 combination

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Chinekwu Osakwe

Thomson Reuters

Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at

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Erasmo Haslett