Law firm travels south for merger

March 30, 2015
TAGS Dykema / merger
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Law firm travels south for merger
Peter Kellett, chairman and CEO of the Dykema law firm, talks with Deborah Williamson, managing director of the law firm Cox Smith. Courtesy Dykema

A law firm with a statewide presence will grow by 118 attorneys come May 1, thanks to a merger with a Texas firm.

The national law firm Dykema, which has five Michigan offices, including Grand Rapids and its headquarters in Detroit, said today that it will merge with San Antonio, Texas-based Cox Smith.

Texas operations

Cox Smith is an established Texas firm with other offices across the state in Dallas, Austin, El Paso and McAllen.

It is the largest San Antonio-based business law and litigation firm, according to Dykema.

In Texas, the combined firm will initially operate under the name Dykema Cox Smith.

Jamie Smith, chairman of Cox Smith, will serve as Dykema’s Texas vice chair, and Deborah Williamson, managing director of Cox Smith, will serve on the firm’s executive board.

The merger will provide Dykema with a significantly expanded presence in Texas.

Dykema already has two offices in Texas, in Dallas and Austin.

The Dallas office in particular has been an important area of growth for the firm. Since the office opened in 2007, it has grown from four attorneys to 27.

The merger will double the size of each firm’s Dallas presence, and San Antonio will become one of Dykema’s largest offices.

Growing economy

The Texas economy has grown rapidly, attracting a number of corporate headquarters and increasing the demand for legal services.

Dykema and Cox Smith believe the merger will be mutually beneficial, helping Dykema better serve and grow clients in Texas and the southwest U.S., and providing Cox Smith with the national platform it needs to service its clients that are expanding beyond the state’s borders.

“Many of our clients are expanding well outside of Texas and have told us our size and our geography limit our ability to expand with them,” Smith said. “With this combination, our lawyers can compete for work over a wider geography and offer a broader range of services to existing firm clients.”

Dykema Chairman and CEO Peter Kellett called the merger a “superb fit for our firms, our teams and our clients.”


The combined firm will offer regional and national practices: middle-market M&A transactions; energy; infrastructure; automotive; government policy; financial services litigation; health care; and data privacy and cyber security.

The deal also gives Dykema clients access to Cox Smith’s attorneys working in financial services, oil, gas and energy, construction and manufacturing, while Cox Smith’s clients gain access to financial centers and industries outside of Texas.

Dykema’s national footprint

Dykema’s other offices are located in Lansing, Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Chicago, Lisle, Ill., Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Minn. and Washington, D.C.

The addition of Cox Smith’s lawyers will give the combined firm more than 450 attorneys in 15 offices.

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