Ober Kaler law firm to merge with larger Tenn. company
The Ober Kaler law firm, which started in Baltimore more than 100 years ago, said Monday it is merging with a larger Tennessee company, creating a firm with more than 800attorneys and advisers in 25 offices.
The combined firm will go by the name of Baker Donelson. Terms of the deal, expected to take effect Jan. 1, were not disclosed.
The merger was initiated by Ober Kaler, said chairman and CEO S. Craig Holden, who said the firm started looking for potential partners more than a year ago, wanting to expand its geographic footprint and increase the scope of its services in an effort to be more competitive with clients.
“This is not a situation where [Baker Donelson] came looking for someone to acquire,” Holden said. “We made a strategic decision to look at potential partners recognizing our need to grow.”
The firms said the combination will create one of the largest health care practices in the country, combining Ober Kaler’s regulatory expertise with Baker Donelson’s transactional practice.
No layoffs of Ober Kaler attorneys or staff are expected as a result of the merger, said Holden, who along with another Ober partner will serve on the new firm’s executive committee.
Holden acknowledged that the merger means the loss of a Baltimore name. The firm has been around since 1903. He said he and others are “exploring ways to continue that brand moving forward.”
Ober Kaler, headquartered at the 100 Light St. tower, employs about 220 people.