At the beginning of February 2021, the global law firm K&L Gates announced opening its 24th US office in Nashville. This was a project we were privileged to work on exclusively with K&L Gates.
When putting together a merger or new office opening, we work closely with members of the executive committee as well as practice-area chairs to develop a strategy and pitch that fits the firm, the market, and the talent.
We worked closely with Mary Beth Johnston, managing partner of the Research Triangle Park office and Health Care Chair, and with Craig Budner, the Global Strategic Growth Partner, throughout the many months of putting together this office opening. They were fantastic to work with, both personally and because of their approach.
We work with clients to develop and refine their story. It's crucial that firms have a good reason to enter a market.
Nashville's explosive growth and huge health care market combined with K&L's existing clients and extensive breadth and depth in health care was a smart and cogent reason to open an office. K&L Gates is the first international law firm in Nashville, and they opened with a splash. Our team was able to speak with about 600 of the 800 partners in the Nashville market, with great success.
Choosing a model
When opening an office, there are several available models. A firm can acquire a boutique. The advantages here are obvious: existing internal cohesion and more simple integration. This model also has its disadvantages: less profitable partners or groups may have to be left behind, and many of the best boutiques have already been snatched up. In Nashville, we chose to go with a different model that we call "the dream team." This is launching a new office with several groups from different firms.
In Nashville, K&L Gates opened with more than 25 lawyers, from 4 different firms.
K&L Gates is just one of the many AM Law 200 firms we have partnered with to open offices and recruit top talent across the nation. If your firm is interested in consulting with us on strategic growth, entering a new market, or attracting talent, please feel free to reach out via email or phone.