Effective Jan. 1, 2020, Briggs and Morgan, a 140-attorney Minneapolis/St. Paul firm with roots dating back to 1882, has joined the Taft law firm, founded in 1885. With the addition of Briggs, Taft is now comprised of more than 600 lawyers across 11 U.S. offices, primarily located in the Midwest.
First announced in August 2019, the combination of Briggs and Taft is highly strategic and strengthens Taft’s foothold in the Midwest, bringing additional talent and resources to both firms. Briggs most recently was ranked as the fifth largest law firm in the Twin Cities area, known for its strength in business, finance and real estate law, energy and litigation. Consistent with Taft’s firm-wide growth strategy focused on a modern culture and client service, this expansion into the rapidly changing and fluid Minneapolis market creates a stronger presence in one of the most important areas in the Midwest.
“The Midwest, and more recently Minneapolis, have become extremely attractive areas for many law firms seeking to expand,” states Taft’s Minneapolis partner-in-charge, Steven J. Ryan. “Taft has a strong presence in the Midwest, and its unique approach to growth is demonstrated by the success of its previous mergers and now the addition of Briggs. The integration process has been highly collaborative, combining the best qualities of both firms. While other firms may grow to merely expand a geographic footprint, this combination has been highly strategic from its inception, with the primary goal of creating a seamless transition for our clients, attorneys and staff, while substantially enhancing and strengthening service offerings.”
Taft expanded into the Chicago market with the addition of Shefsky & Froelich in 2014. Since then, the Taft Chicago office has grown by 60%, attracting lateral attorneys from top AmLaw 50 and mid-sized firms. In 2019 alone, 17 attorneys joined the Taft Chicago office, reflecting the success of Taft’s strategic growth model and its attractiveness to the lateral attorney market.
In addition to expanding its Midwestern presence and client services, this combination is focused on drawing top-tier talent to the firm. “Our decision to join Taft not only enhances our ability to meet growing client demands, but is also a key component in our talent-driven strategy,” states Ann Rainhart, Taft’s chief strategy officer. “Taft’s decentralized leadership structure, coupled with the firm’s economic model, one-class partnership and its other progressive gender, diversity and inclusion initiatives, will serve as great advantages in recruiting and retaining top talent.”
Taft offices primarily operate under local leadership, while being supported by the Taft brand, vision and firm-wide resources. This decentralized leadership structure and a “One Taft” mindset foster local market and community commitments, while simultaneously ensuring innovation, collaboration and consistent, high-level quality services throughout the firm.
“As a modern law firm, we are thrilled to welcome this remarkably talented group of colleagues who share Taft’s obsessive focus on client service and its mission to revolutionize the way legal services are delivered to our clients,” states Taft’s chairman and managing partner, Robert J. Hicks. “The Minneapolis team has an outstanding reputation and client base, which will continue to grow under the Taft brand. With shared values of inclusivity, exceptional client service and being the employer of choice in each market, this combination will be highly advantageous to both Taft’s clients and the firm at large.”