O'Neil, Rothman Comment on Foley Gardere Combination

13 May 2019 Law360 News
Dallas Partner Holland "Holly" O'Neil and Chairman and CEO Jay Rothman were quoted in a Law360 article, "Identity Politics: How Firms Seal The Deal After A Merger," about law firm mergers, including last year's successful and strategic integration of Foley & Lardner and Gardere Wynne Sewell.

O'Neil, a member of the combined firm's management committee and the former chair of Gardere, said she had told her legacy Gardere partners following the combination that she was preparing to negotiate with the owners of the Dallas office building where Gardere was based to add Foley to the sign bearing the Gardere name. They encouraged her to replace the sign altogether with one one bearing the Foley brand.

"It was really confirming to me and in some ways a testament to the fact that I think people have very quickly become so comfortable with the merger," she said. "My partners, after being here decades, were ready to...put the Foley name up there. It was a monumental moment for me."

To help clients adjust to the change, the firms chose to operate under various transitional names in various markets after the combination went through, with the goal of eventually renaming each U.S. office Foley & Lardner LLP. But there are no plans to rush the change through.

"We believe it's going to happen naturally," Rothman said.