Dowling Aaron, a full-service law firm with four offices throughout California, has agreed to merge with Fennemore Craig, a leading law firm in the Mountain West with six offices in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, creating a law firm with roughly 350 lawyers and allied legal professionals. Shareholders and directors from both firms have approved the deal, which will become effective October 1, 2020. 

The combined firm will be called Fennemore Craig Dowling Aaron in California. Fennemore Craig’s CEO, James Goodnow, will remain chief executive of the combined firm, and Dowling Aaron’s President, Leigh Burnside, will join the new firm’s Management Committee. Sarah Strunk will continue on as Chair of the firm’s Board of Directors. Named partner and Dowling Aaron Chair, Richard Aaron, will move into a senior position within the firm and on key firm committees. 

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Dowling Aaron, with both firms coming from a position of strength and unique alignment in business operations, practices, client bases, and cultures,” remarked Goodnow. He continued, “even through the pandemic, by acting strategically and boldly, we’re paving the way to better serve all of our clients’ needs.” Strunk added, “We’re bullish in this new economy because we’ve found a rare cultural and financial fit that will allow us to better serve clients in the short-, mid-, and long-term.” 

Fennemore Craig’s geographic footprint, with offices in Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Reno, Tucson and Nogales, will now extend into Central California, one of the single largest food-producing regions in the world. Dowling Aaron has offices in Fresno, Sacramento, Bakersfield, and the Central Coast. 

“At a point in our working lives where good news can sometimes be hard to find, I’m happy to announce this merger as a signal to our clients that we’re committed to them today and into the future,” noted Burnside. Aaron added, “This strategic combination offers our clients access to a national platform and deeper bench across the transactional and business litigation spectrum. With this combination, there’s virtually no matter we can’t handle. We will be our clients’ full-service, one-stop shop for any issue, big or small.”

Key practice areas offered by the combined firms include agribusiness, water law, business and finance, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, construction, health care, business litigation, tax, trusts and estate planning, corporate, bankruptcy, natural resources and environmental, ERISA and benefits, intellectual property, labor relations and employment law, and emerging business.