Eckert Seamans looks for N.J. growth

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Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott's announcement that it has acquired Trenton, N.J.-based Sterns & Weinroth gives the Pittsburgh-based firm its second New Jersey office, adding to its month-old Newark location.

The merger, which is scheduled to take effect April 1, brings 17 new members and seven new associates and will expand the firm's capabilities in commercial and professional liability litigation, government relations and land use. Sterns & Weinroth will now operate under the Eckert Seamans name.

Eckert Seamans CEO Timothy P. Ryan said his firm had been looking for a merger partner in New Jersey for years when it was finally introduced to Sterns & Weinroth.

The two firms shared a similar culture as well as some overlapping clients, in addition to offering each other opportunities to reach new clients and geographic markets, Mr. Ryan said. "These types of firms don't come around very often," he said. "It's an incredibly well-regarded, old-line New Jersey firm with an established client base."

The move comes on the heels of Eckert Seamans' January acquisition of nine lawyers from New York-based insurance defense firm McGivney & Kluger, which gave the firm its Newark office.

But Mr. Ryan said Eckert Seamans was looking for a merger partner near Trenton and Princeton, N.J., that would allow it to establish a true New Jersey presence, as opposed to acquiring one with a more New York-centric practice.

According to Mr. Ryan, many of Eckert Seamans' clients have substantial interests in the New Jersey market, which he called "an important economic center."


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