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Leonard, Street and Deinard Merges with Stinson Morrison Hecker

We are getting another big law firm. The industry is abuzz this week with news of Minneapolis-based law firm Leonard Street and Deinard merging with Kansas City's Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP to form a new 529-lawyer firm with offices in 14 cities.

The new law firm would be known as Stinson Leonard Street LLP and will lack a centralized headquarter. With 321 attorneys coming from Stinson and 208 from Leonard Street, the new law firm would have the functions of its headquarters distributed across several locations.

The current managing partners of the firms would work as co-managing partners in the new firm.

Speaking on the merger, in a recent interview, Mark Hinderks, the managing partner of Stinson said that both the law firms had similar values, clients and approaches toward clients, and it made sense to have a merger. Hinderks said the firms had similar success patterns in recent years and merger talks had begun early this year.

Speaking on the major factor that influenced the merger, Hinderks said, "we've got similar focuses on cultural items … and as we began to stack those similarities up, we began to think this was really a great idea that could be well executed."

Lowell Stortz, the managing partner of Leonard Street stated that the merger made good business sense as the "firms come together on a practice level … around financial services and banking - both litigation and the business side of that - as well as corporate finance and securities and energy."

Stortz emphasized that size mattered as "there may be a transaction or a litigation where it would take a few more lawyers to catch the attention of a general counsel who we may already know."

Hinderks, who was instrumental in merging Stinson Mag & Fizzell PC with Morrison & Hecker to form Stinson Morrison Hecker realizes the downsides of a merger, and admitted that "there will be some sadness with the loss of those names from our title," referring to the dropping of Morrison and Hecker from the firm name. However, he noted, it was nothing new to the constituents of Stinson Morrison, as in the earlier merger, the names Mag & Fizzell had been dropped.

He said the partners of the law firm, "while noting the history, are willing and enthusiastic to move forward with a new firm."

In April, merger talks between Stinson Morrison Hecker and Kansas city firm Lathrop & Gage LLP had been called off after wide rumors of a deal.

Stinson LLP

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