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VOL. 131 | NO. 218 | Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Baker Donelson Merging With Ober/Kaler of Baltimore

By Bill Dries

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Baker Donelson is merging with national law firm Ober/Kaler effective Jan. 1, creating one of the 50 largest law firms in the country.

The combined company will retain the Baker Donelson name.

The merger with Ober/Kaler, headquartered in Baltimore, creates the third-largest health care practice.

The merger was approved by leaders and shareholders of both law firms and announced Monday, Oct. 31. The deal is expected to close on Jan. 1.

Memphis-based Baker Donelson traces its lineage back to 1888 when James F. Baker opened a law firm in Huntsville, Tennessee. The Memphis part of the law firm dates to 1911 when Walter Chandler began his private practice in Memphis.

Baker Donelson chairman and chief executive officer Ben C. Adams termed the merger “a significant step” in the firm’s strategic growth.

“This is a great cultural fit as well, with our firms’ shared commitments to our clients, diversity, pro bono service and community involvement,” Adams said in a written statement.

Ober/Kaler CEO S. Craig Holden highlighted the merger in the health care, financial services and construction practices.

“We were drawn to Baker Donelson’s outstanding reputation and the chance to offer our clients a significantly expanded platform with a broader reach, both geographically and in terms of the range of legal counsel that a firm of more than 800 attorneys and advisers brings,” Holden said in a written statement.

Baker Donelson currently has 700 attorneys and advisers across 30 practice areas and 21 offices in eight states and the District of Columbia as well as London.

Ober/Kaler has 110 attorney and three offices in Baltimore, Falls Church, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 64 151 1,493
MORTGAGES 45 105 1,152
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 14 204
BUILDING PERMITS 201 410 3,466
BANKRUPTCIES 35 119 872
BUSINESS LICENSES 9 32 361
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0