The Little Rock law firms of Wright Lindsey & Jennings and Dover Dixon Horne PLLC on Tuesday announced that they're merging effective Jan. 1, making it the second largest law firm in Arkansas.
The firms will be under the Wright Lindsey & Jennings name, according to a WLJ news release.
Steve Lancaster, WLJ’s managing partner, told Arkansas Business on Tuesday that the merger makes sense for both firms.
“We each have real strengths that have supported us for years and years, and they really complement each other,” he said.
Lancaster said that both sides started talking about a merger several months ago. “And the more we talked, and got to know each other, the more sense it made that their strengths and our strengths combined” will provide good service to each firm’s clients, he said.
The current partners at Dover Dixon will become partners at WLJ. “WLJ will just continue as it has but we will have a number of new partners and other attorneys and staff as well,” Lancaster said.
Dover Dixon has office space in Simmons Tower in downtown Little Rock, and WLJ leases space in Bank of America Plaza, about a block away.
Lancaster said eventually Dover Dixon and WLJ will be in the same office, “but that’s not going to happen right away.” And he doesn’t know where that office space will be.
WLJ is in a legal battle with its landlord over rent and the building’s conditions. Lancaster said he hopes that lawsuit will resolve by the end of the year. “We’re optimistic that it’s going to be resolved favorably to us,” he said.
WLJ also has an office in Rogers.
Lancaster also said he doesn’t expect that any positions will be eliminated as a result of the merger.
“Our hope and expectation is that we’ll need to be adding people as time goes on,” he said. “We see this as a real opportunity for both firms to continue growing.”
Dover Dixon Horne attorneys have practice areas that include tax law and real estate matters, along with environmental law, construction law, labor and employment, corporate finance, trusts and estates and family law, according to its website.
WLJ’s attorneys have practice areas that include bankruptcy, commercial litigation, construction litigation, toxic torts, fidelity and surety, labor and employment and products liability, according to its website.
The combined firm will have 85 attorneys, making it the second largest law firm in the state ranked by the number of lawyers, behind Friday Eldredge & Clark of Little Rock which had 90 lawyers in June. WLJ was third on the list of largest law firms with 68, and Dover Dixon was No. 15 with 19 attorneys.
“We have a proud history at Dover Dixon Horne dating back to 1925,” Cal McCastlain, DDH’s managing member, said in the news release. “That legacy has prepared us for this moment. The focus now is on the future. Uniting the strengths and efforts of DDH and WLJ under one banner allows us to provide the highest quality, value and breadth of service to our clients.”