- people on the move
Downtown law firms unite
A large law firm based downtown is uniting with one of its neighbors.
Grand Rapids-based Varnum, founded in 1888, and Law Weathers, a Grand Rapids-based firm founded in 1868, said yesterday that they will combine their legal and administrative teams, effective Jan. 1.
The decision to combine the firms' teams, considered culturally similar, is anticipated to strengthen and grow key legal practices, give the firms the ability to leverage a streamlined administrative function and provide an opportunity to increase market share in the region.
Scott Huizenga, chairman at Varnum, said the firm is excited to welcome Law Weathers, which he described as a firm with “a long and respected history in the city.”
“As neighbors in Bridgewater Place since 1993, we have worked together on many matters, sometimes for the same clients,” Huizenga said. “That level of familiarity, along with many mutual business opportunities, made this an easy decision.”
Tom Kyros, executive partner at Varnum, said the Law Weathers team is an outstanding addition to the firm.
“They certainly have been a sought-after firm, and we are glad they chose Varnum for their new home,” Kyros said. “Combining the skills and experience of both firms positions Varnum well relative to our growth goals and enhances our ability to create opportunities for our clients.”
Kyros also indicated the firm anticipates hanging a portrait of former President Gerald Ford, an alum of Law Weathers, in the reception area alongside Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt and Howlett.
“We are delighted to combine with this innovative firm whose attorneys are already our colleagues and friends,” Roth said.
The deal will result in several expanded practices at Varnum: corporate, estate planning, regulatory, real estate, litigation, labor and employment and family law.
About 16 Law Weathers attorneys are joining Varnum’s Grand Rapids office: Tony Barnes, Bob Buchanan, Dave Caldon, Stu Cheney, Stephanie Fekkes, Brad Fowler, Tony Gauthier, Stacey George, Bill Hineline, John Huff, Jim Komondy, Kevin Krauss, Nick Missad, Mike Roth, Terry Tobias and Kurt Yost.