Two prestigious names in Philadelphia law announced they are joining forces today. Pepper Hamilton, the storied 120-year-old firm, will be absorbing various outfits spearheaded by Louis Freeh, most recently known for his harsh report following the Penn State scandal.

Let’s check out the details on these two firms, who were already quite close, and are finally tying the knot….

The DealBook blog of the New York Times has the skinny on the acquisition:

Pepper Hamilton, a corporate law firm based in Philadelphia, has acquired the investigative firm and law practice run by Louis J. Freeh, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The deal, announced on Tuesday, highlights the growing business of internal investigations into possible wrongdoing at corporations and other institutions, an increasingly lucrative area for law firms.

Scandal has been big business for Mr. Freeh. Over the last year, Mr. Freeh has served as trustee for creditors of MF Global, the collapsed brokerage firm; conducted the internal inquiry of a sex-abuse scandal at Penn State; and examined an SAT cheating scandal.

Freeh has two separate organizations that will be coming under Pepper’s wing, including 25 employees all told. The first is Freeh Group International Solutions, Freeh’s investigative outfit, which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Pepper but retain its name and independent operation. Freeh’s firm lawyers at Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan will join Pepper’s white-collar criminal defense practice.

Very interesting. Will Pepper change its branding to incorporate a little Jack Nicholson private investigator vibe? It’s doubtful, but we here at ATL do appreciate legal organizations who make use of forward-thinking strategies like this.

Besides, Pepper and Freeh aren’t exactly strange bedfellows. As the WSJ Law Blog explains, the two groups have been “canoodling” for years. Among other projects, they worked together on the Penn State report.

Maybe they got tired of making the walk of shame on Saturday mornings and figured it was just easier to move in together?

Congratulations to both companies on the merger, and happy rainmaking.

Pepper Hamilton to Acquire Louis Freeh’s Firms [DealBook / New York Times]
Merger Madness: Pepper Hamilton Picks Up Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan [WSJ Law Blog]


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