Cleveland firm merges to hit top 20

Cleveland firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey is to become one of the top 20 US firms after finalising a merger with California-based Graham & James.

The acquisition of the practice and its offices in California and Asia gives the firm 675 lawyers in 25 locations around the world.

Only Graham & James’ New York office, which includes a highly profitable intellectual property practice, is breaking ranks with the rest. It has not yet finalised new arrangements. The firm’s 14-lawyer Milan practice will become an independent firm associated with Squire Sanders while full merger talks continue.

The move gains Squire Sanders a presence in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Beijing.

London managing partner Joe Markoski says the fit was obvious.

He says: “We are strong in the telecoms area and Graham & James had expertise in the IP/IT dotcom Silicon Valley economy. This gives greater depth to our technology practice.

“Secondly, their geographical coverage in Tokyo and Japan complements our presence in China.”

All offices will adopt the Squire Sanders name.