Acquainted as lobbyists, law firms agree to merger

For the past couple of legislative sessions, Robert L. Crowell admired the lobbying work of the team from the Las Vegas law firm of Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw & Ferrario.

And representatives from the Las Vegas firm liked the work that Crowell was doing from his much smaller, Carson City-based Crowell, Susich, Tackes & Griffin Ltd.

They started talking about ways they might combine their efforts at the statehouse. By the time they were done, the two firms had agreed to the merger of Crowell, Susich into Kummer Kaempfer.

Six attorneys from the Carson City firm will join Kummer Kaempfer when the merger is completed this week. The office will operate under the Kummer Kaempfer name.

Crowell, whose father launched the firm in Tonopah in 1937 and moved it to Carson City in the mid-1950s, said the firm's client list increasingly includes national companies that need a full range of legal services in the state.

Kummer Kaempfer, which will have 55 lawyers in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City after the merger, provides the depth that clients need, he said.

Michael J. Bonner, managing partner of Kummer Kaempfer, said his firm was looking to deepen its presence in Carson City including its work with state administrative agencies and was impressed by the talent of Crowell, Susich.

"You build a great firm with great people," he said. "This helps us bring in fabulous people."

Still, the negotiations took months. A big issue for Crowell, who was negotiating a large piece of his family history, was ensuring that the firm's belief system would remain intact.

"Our business philosophy and our client philosophy matched almost point-by-point with Mike's firm," he said.

Crowell will co-chair Kummer Kaempfer's government relations practice and will join the firm's executive committee.

Also joining Kummer Kaempfer from the Carson City firm will be attorneys J. Thomas Susich, Steve E. Tackes, John W. Griffin, Jason D. Woodbury and William J. Crowell Jr.

Kummer Kaempfer opened a Reno office in 2004. Bonner said the firm is drawn by northern Nevada's growing economic diversity.


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