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April 19, 2011 2:19 PM

Fisher & Phillips Takes Over Cleveland Firm

Posted by Brian Baxter

Fisher & Phillips, a 240-lawyer Am Law 200 labor and employment firm, is acquiring Cleveland boutique Millisor + Nobil to get a foothold in Ohio.

The National Law Journal, a sibling publication, reports that Atlanta-based Fisher & Phillips took on 19 lawyers from Millisor + Nobil as the firms combined operations over the weekend. The deal gives Fisher & Phillips its twenty-fifth office. 

A dozen Millisor + Nobil partners joined Fisher & Phillips, along with three of counsel and four associates, according to The NLJ.

Name partner Steven Nobil, who is now managing partner of Fisher & Phillips's Cleveland office, told The NLJ that his firm discussed joining "with most of the national labor and employment" firms in the past but didn't find the right fit until beginning talks with Fisher & Phillips.

Nobil briefly worked at Fisher & Phillips in the 1970s before returning to Ohio and forming his own firm with Ken Millisor, The NLJ reports.

Fisher & Phillips chairman and managing partner Roger Quillen told The NLJ that his firm had had its eye on Ohio for many years because of its large population and manufacturing base.

The merger brings Fisher & Phillips's head count to roughly 260 lawyers. The firm has been on a growth spurt lately, opening an office in Los Angeles in January with three lawyers from its Irvine, Calif., operations. Last July the firm opened in Washington, D.C., by recruiting former Arent Fox counsel Dennis Cuneo.

Fisher & Phillips's labor and employment rivals also are expanding their operations.

The Am Law Daily reported Jackson Lewis's 2009 acquisition of Nebraska boutique Berens & Tate, which gave the now 660-lawyer firm an office in Omaha. Last year Jackson Lewis snagged four DLA Piper employment partners in Baltimore for the opening of the firm's forty-fifth office.

Last year The Am Law 100's largest employment firm, 765-lawyer Littler Mendelson, established its forty-ninth office--in Alaska. The San Francisco-based firm opened in Anchorage after luring former K&L Gates partner Douglas Parker north from Portland, Ore.

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