Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Tulsa Law Firm Targets OKC Expansion

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Tulsa Law Firm Targets OKC Expansion

Article excerpt

The new Tulsa law firm Sneed Lang Herrold is studying expansion into Oklahoma City.

"We want to grow conservatively by either attorneys in the office or a satellite office," said David H. Herrold, vice president of finance with the 34-attorney firm.

The firm's involvement in the Pepperoni Grill bankruptcy case makes Oklahoma City economically attractive, said D. Faith Orlowski, president of the new firm at 1700 Williams Center Tower 1. Pepperoni Grill was a subsidiary of the Oklahoma City firm Eateries Inc., which declared bankruptcy in May.

Sneed Lang Herrold also has several other western Oklahoma clients, Herrold said.

The firm formed Wednesday with the merger of two established 17- attorney firms: Herrold Herrold & Co. with Sneed Lang. Combined, they rank among the city's top 15 largest firms, and the top 30 in the state, according to the national legal database Martindale- Hubbell.

Tamara Piety, associate professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law, said such mergers follow a pattern of consolidation common over the last decade, usually aimed at achieving greater resources and economic synergies.

"Still, saying anything about any trends at this point is difficult because things are relatively out the window," she said of economic factors under this national recession.

Orlowski said the merger reflected not economic pressure, but losses in the 2007 ice storm. Two members of Sneed Lang, Jim Lang and John Corbett, died in that devastating cold spell. Their absence led the remaining partners to evaluate their personnel needs - which spurred them to consider a merger instead of hiring.

Herrold Herrold seemed the logical partner. Herrold, son of co- founder Don Herrold, said the skill sets of each firm complemented the other and their cultures meshed well. Their members had enjoyed rubbing elbows in past cases.

"The real test was, we still liked each other even when on opposing sides," Orlowski said.

Through last year the two firms studied and prepared for the merger, which coincided with the expiration of Herrold Herrold's lease in Oneok Plaza.

"Both of us had banner years last year," said Herrold, estimating their combined billings around the $5 million mark. …

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