Law firms Holland & Knight and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis have completed their combination, effective March 1.
The combination grants Holland & Knight a significant presence in Tennessee in addition to other markets in the Southeast. The firm currently employs about 2,000 attorneys across its 35 offices in the U.S. and abroad.
Waller, founded in 1905, has more than 50 years of experience providing legal counsel to clients in the health care services industry, including hospitals, health systems, surgery centers, post-acute care, physician practices and health care technology companies.
The firm has a long history of facilitating private equity transactions spanning virtually every segment of the health care industry and is listed as one of the top firms in Chambers USA’s “The Elite” rankings of national health care law firms.
The combination makes Holland & Knight one of the nation’s most prestigious health care law firms and significantly strengthens its capabilities in private equity, financial services, real estate and litigation.
The deal also expands Holland & Knight’s footprint in the U.S., making it one of the largest law firms in Tennessee. Waller has more than 280 attorneys with offices in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., and Austin, Texas.
The combination is the latest step in Holland & Knight’s growth strategy, which has focused on building strength in specific geographies, practices and industries. The firm also combined with Texas-based Thompson & Knight in 2021.
“We could not be more enthusiastic about joining forces with Waller. From the outset of our discussions, we quickly realized that we share complementary practice and industry strengths and a collaborative culture that focuses on providing exceptional client service,” said Holland & Knight Managing Partner Steven Sonberg.
“For Holland & Knight, the combination enables us to hit the ground running in Tennessee — where Waller has a lengthy history and prestigious client roster — and it greatly enhances our position in the health care sector. We are confident this move will accelerate our growth and lead to long-term, sustained success.”
As part of the combination, three Waller attorneys, including Waller Chair Matt Burnstein, will hold seats on Holland & Knight’s Directors Committee, the firm’s highest policymaking body. Numerous other Waller partners will also serve in leadership positions in practices and offices at Holland & Knight.
“With this strategic combination, Waller gains a larger geographical footprint, deeper resources and a broader network that allows us to expand the range of services we provide to our clients across the nation,” said Burnstein, who will also serve as executive partner of the Nashville office. “We are thrilled to join a firm that values its team-oriented culture as much as we do and similarly prioritizes responsiveness and innovation when providing client counsel.”