New Carmody Law Firm On Verge Of State's Top 10

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Carmody Torrance
Carmody Torrance

Carmody & Torrance had 62 attorneys in offices in Waterbury, Southbury and New Haven. Meanwhile, Sandak Hennessey & Greco had 15 attorneys in Stamford. The new entity will have 77 lawyers in four offices and be known as Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey.

Brian Henebry, the managing partner of Carmody & Torrance, will retain that title with the new larger firm. He said Carmody had been looking for opportunities to expand into the lucrative Fairfield County market for some time. "Our firm has been looking for the right match in Fairfield County and we knew this was it," Henebry said. "Both of our firms share the same focus — achieving the clients' objectives, getting results and doing so efficiently at a reasonable cost."

Carmody & Torrance had $26 million in gross revenues in 2012, according to the Connecticut Law Tribune's annual listing of the state's highest-grossing firms, which put it in 12th place overall. Although revenue numbers for Sandak Hennessey weren't immediately available, it appears certain that the new firm would move up at least one notch and perhaps even rival Halloran & Sage (annual revenues of $35 million) for the final spot in the top 10.

Peter Giuliani, a Weston-based law firm management consultant, said both Carmody and Sandak Hennessey are known as "very fine" law firms. "Both are highly regarded in the marketplace and by other lawyers," Giuliani said. "Both firms have a strong litigation bench, and a reputation for having top lawyers in other fields."

Strategically speaking, Giuliani said the merger is of particular interest because it gives Carmody a Fairfield County presence to be paired with its established offices in New Haven. County. "At 77 lawyers, they will be one of the larger indigenous Connecticut law firms," Giuliani said.

According to the Law Tribune's listings, only seven other Connecticut-based firms had more than 77 lawyers as of the end of 2012. One other firm, Pullman & Comley, had exactly 77.

Last year also begain with a major merger in the Connecticut legal marketplace. The 24-attorney Farmington firm of Levy & Droney closed shop and many of the lawyers joined with the regional firm of Hinckley, Allen & Snyder. Also last year, Pullman & Comley hired all but one member of the Hartford firm Sullivan Schoen Campane & Connon.

In another merger with Connecticut implications, Jorden Burt, a class action defense boutique with an office in Simsbury, announced in November it was joining forces with a larger international litigation firm. The just-complete merger between 70-lawyer Jorden Burt and Carlton Fields created a new 370-lawyer firm called Carlton Fields Jorden Burt. With its headquarters in Tampa, one of the new firm's 10 offices will be moving from Simsbury to Hartford.

As for the new Carmody firm, Sandak Hennessey lawyers bring extensive experience in commercial real estate, zoning and land use matters, along with strong corporate relationships throughout Fairfield County. In recent years, the firm has also built up its alternative dispute resolution practice, which Henebry said will see further growth under the new name.

Carmody has also been expanding its ADR practice in recent years, along with its litigation, intellectual property, labor and employment, energy and utility, trusts and estates and environmental practices. Another area of expected growth for the firm is its personal injury practice area. Kevin Greco of Sandak Hennessey will lead the combined firm's personal injury efforts, continuing to serve clients statewide.

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