Although he would not specifically discuss the Levy & Droney deal, Fish recalled the feelings by many at his former firm when it was announced they would be picked up by Hinckley Allen. At the time, he said, some who were offered an opportunity to change firms did not make the move. But those who did now believe "it was the best thing we ever did," he said. Fish explained that larger regional firms can provide attorneys and their clients with added resources and, often, efficiency.
At the same time, speaking in general terms, Fish said the end of a law firm is never a cause for celebration. "You can't help but feel some bittersweetness, in terms of there being a name that will no longer be in the legal landscape," he said. "That having been said, the excitement of joining Hinckley Allen far outweighed anything else."
Peter Giuliani, a Weston, Conn.-based law firm consultant, said "it's pretty much common knowledge that Hinckley Allen has been hot to trot for Connecticut for quite a while."
While this deal is distinguished from the kind of merger that in 2008 combined the 50-lawyer Hartford firm of Pepe & Hazard with McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, a New Jersey law firm of 250 lawyers, Giuliani said the outcome is similar. The old firm might cease to exist, but the individual lawyers will continue to work with their clients, just as they did before.
"Under a traditional merger," Giuliani said, "Hinckley Allen would have taken the whole firm, and over a two-year period weeded out the people they didn't want. This way, the people who didn't get hired have a better chance of finding a position elsewhere."