Wooden McLaughlin-Dinsmore Merger Expands Offerings for Evansville Clients
Wooden McLaughlin LLP, a regional law firm with offices in Evansville, Indianapolis and Bloomington, has merged with the national law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.
Wooden’s 47 attorneys, including the seven in Evansville, join the 680-plus at Dinsmore to create one of the largest mergers in the legal industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wooden’s success, both recently and over its 50-year history, made the merger a logical and beneficial business decision.
“When you practice law and you do it well, your clients grow and you have to grow with them,” said Wooden partner Greg Freyberger, who will lead Dinsmore’s Evansville office. “We’ve done a good job of helping our clients grow, and now we need the resources to continue fostering their success. The merger with Dinsmore makes that possible.”
Market commentators have noted Dinsmore’s momentum. In June, the National Law Journal named Dinsmore one of four American “firms to note.” That same month, Dinsmore also earned the largest year-over-year leap of any firm listed in the 2020 NLJ 500, after it grew by 16.5 percent in head count over the previous 12 months—660 percent of the national average.
The move into Indiana continues the firm’s national buildout from coast to coast and is a natural expansion of Dinsmore’s strong Midwestern presence in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky.
“I’ve always believed in having a renewable five-year plan and working back from where you want to be,” said Dinsmore Chairman and Managing Partner George Vincent. “Five years ago, we wanted to be in Boston, Florida and Indiana, and we’ve done all of those things. We are in every state surrounding Indiana, so it is a natural place for us to be. There are significant opportunities for new and existing Dinsmore clients there, and Wooden has a great legacy.”
Wooden’s seven Evansville litigators will join Dinsmore’s commercial litigation group of 290-plus attorneys across the country. That added national footprint enables the Evansville attorneys to offer their clients a different horsepower of service without sacrificing any accessibility or reliability.
“It’s important for Evansville and our clients to understand this merger is hugely beneficial for them,” Freyberger said. “We still live here, work here and offer the same representation, but we now have a significantly expanded ability to serve our clients. Because we’re part of Dinsmore now, we have offices in 29 cities across the country and offer services that we couldn’t before. We are much deeper and have a vastly wider net of legal services to offer the people of Evansville.”
Beyond business offerings, Wooden’s leadership found a natural cultural fit between the two firms.
“We’ve been approached for the last 15 years by firms interested in merging,” said Wooden partner Misha Rabinowitch, who will lead Dinsmore’s Indianapolis and Bloomington offices. “We’ve always resisted, but when we were approached by Dinsmore, we had to take a serious look because the culture they’ve developed is just like ours.”
“We are both very involved in the community,” Freyberger added. “We both work with non-profits, sit on boards and are out at community meetings. We saw this as an opportunity to add significant resources in Evansville with a firm that believes in the same values as us.”
All three offices will remain in their current locations. This is Dinsmore’s second substantial expansion in under a year, after it opened its first Florida office (Tampa) last February. From 2017-19, it also opened offices in Cleveland, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Boston.