Satterlee Stephens to combine with Duane Morris



PHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK, January 16, 2020—Duane Morris LLP and Satterlee Stephens LLP announced today that the partners of both firms have approved the material terms of a merger agreement, and it is expected that the deal will be finalized by the end of the month. The combination would substantially expand Duane Morris’ presence in New York City, effectively growing the firm’s New York practice by 60% to more than 160 lawyers. The additional depth in key practice areas and industry sector know-how, coupled with the broader geographic reach of Satterlee within the combined firm, would enhance the range of services available to clients of both firms. Satterlee Stephens, with its 125-year track record of working on some of the market’s most notable deals and important cases, would complement the service offerings of the New York office of Duane Morris, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. The combined firm would operate as Duane Morris LLP.

With the merger, Duane Morris’ enhanced presence in New York City would offer sophisticated local, national and international practices in such key areas as corporate; trial; finance; intellectual property; real estate; bankruptcy; venture capital and emerging companies; employment, labor, immigration and benefits; insurance; private client services; media and communications; and tax, among others. 

The combination, which is expected to take effect as of February 1, 2020, would further lift New York as the firm’s largest market outside its Philadelphia headquarters.

“We’re excited to welcome the Satterlee Stephens team,” said Matthew A. Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Duane Morris. “The fine lawyers at Satterlee bring great practice strength in litigation, corporate, bankruptcy, IP, immigration, and trusts and estates, as well as deep knowledge in industries such as financial services, technology and life sciences that mirror those at the core of our strategic plan. We’ve been talking for quite a while, so we are very comfortable that this would be a spot-on cultural fit as well.”

“This combination is additive to the total business because of the broad areas of complementary skill sets, practices and industry focuses that mark our two firms,” said James J. Coster, Chair of the Executive Committee of Satterlee Stephens. “Not only does Duane Morris have an expansive platform that would provide our lawyers with a broad range of new opportunities to better serve our clients, but the firm’s distinctively collegial culture would facilitate a high level of collaboration with our new colleagues.”

It is anticipated that Coster would assume a role as co-head of Duane Morris’ presence in New York, sharing those duties with Duane Morris’ current New York office head, Michael Grohman. Other leadership roles for Satterlee’s lawyers within the combined firm are still under consideration, but would include the addition of Coster and another Satterlee partner on Duane Morris’ Partners Board.

The firm would operate from both Duane Morris’ existing location on Times Square and Satterlee’s office at 230 Park Avenue. 

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris LLP provides innovative solutions to today’s multifaceted legal and business challenges through the collegial and collaborative culture of its more than 800 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally. The firm represents a broad array of clients, spanning all major practices and industries. Founded in 1904, Duane Morris lawyers and practices are heavily represented in leading recognition systems such as Chambers USA, Asia/Pacific and Global, Legal 500 and US News & World Report/Best Lawyers. Duane Morris is one of a handful of AmLaw 100 firms that has grown revenue every year for the last 10 years, and one of the few that has been the subject of two Harvard Business School case studies.

About Satterlee Stephens

Founded in 1894 and 60 lawyers strong, New York-based Satterlee Stephens LLP works across most major practice areas to provide the highest quality legal services to businesses, public and private institutions and individuals, helping clients solve challenging legal problems in order to achieve their commercial and personal goals. Among other historical benchmarks, the firm has been the home of noted jurists such as Harlan Fiske Stone (Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court), and was responsible for incorporating General Motors, the name of which firm founder Herbert L. Satterlee suggested. The firm and its attorneys are recognized in Chambers and other major ratings systems.

Read more about Satterlee Stephens and Duane Morris