Chicago-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has upped its New York presence by merging with RubinBaum
The combined firm will have 135 lawyers in New York, with around 50 RubinBaum attorneys moving into Sonnenschein's office. Sonnenschein's New York managing partner Robert Winikoff said that the firm was focused on boosting its New York office. Within the next year, Sonnenschein aims to reach the 200-lawyer mark. According to Winikoff, New York is something of a holy grail for Chicago firms because of higher profitability and access to international markets and clients. With the addition of full-service RubinBaum, Sonnenschein has tripled its New York capability in the last three years. Sonnenschein chairman Duane Quaini said: "The experience and capabilities these distinguished lawyers bring to virtually every practice area adds significant strength and momentum to the growth strategy we have had for some time." Sonnenschein's corporate and litigation practices will be the immediate beneficiaries of the merger. The New York office will boast 40 corporate and 50 litigation lawyers. RubinBaum is most widely known for its media, intellectual property, telecoms and entertainment work. It has advised Elton John, The Beatles and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The two firms have approximate parity in terms of profits per partner. RubinBaum's average is around $600,000 (£413,100), while Sonnenschein has raised its figure from $370,000 (£254,700) in 2000 to $510,000 (£351,000) last year. The increase has been attributed to the New York office, where profits per partner are roughly $700,000 (£482,000). The merger also gives Sonnenschein a small office in New Jersey, taking its office tally in the US to nine. So far it has no offices outside the US.