Thorp Reed Expands In Phila. Through Merger With Kittredge Donley

Pittsburgh-based Thorp Reed & Armstrong has gained a larger presence in Philadelphia through a merger with Kittredge Donley Elson Fullem & Embick.

Kittredge Donley has 11 attorneys with the five name partners, two of counsel and four associates, all of whom will be joining Thorp Reed effective March 1.

The merger will give Thorp Reed new or additional expertise in the insurance and reinsurance industry and international trade, labor and employment, and corporate and civil litigation practices.

Kittredge Donley lists several insurance clients on its Web site as well as Conair Corp., Deborah Heart and Lung Center and Hospital Foundation, Viacom, Volvo Cars of North America and Rohm & Haas Co.

“For Kittredge Donley, a strategic combination was less about the right time, than the right partner,” Kittredge Donley name partner Joe Donley said in a statement. “When Thorp Reed approached us, we were not looking for a merger, but once we began to discuss the opportunity both firms would have as a combined entity, we were excited not only about growth, but also the ability to combine with a firm that shared a common culture and focus on the client.”

There are 19 attorneys who work in Thorp Reed’s existing Philadelphia office. Managing Partner Jeff Conn said there are nine attorneys who work full-time in Philadelphia, focusing mainly on corporate and commercial litigation. The office also handles some corporate and real estate work, he said.

Kittredge Donley would add a re-insurance practice to the firm and expand Thorp Reed’s international work into the trade area, Conn said.

The two firms have been talking since the spring of 2007. Conn said it has been an objective of his and the firm’s to expand in Philadelphia. He said the firm isn’t done yet.

Thorp Reed is the latest of many Pittsburgh-area firms to expand in Philadelphia.

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott has added 29 laterals in the city in less than a year.

Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti got its new name – the firm was former Pietragallo Gordon & Bosick – from the acquisition of about half of the disbanded Miller Alfano & Raspanti. The new Philadelphia attorneys started Jan. 1 in the firm’s recently opened Philadelphia office.

Dickie McCamey & Chilcote and Burns White & Hickton both grabbed some attorneys from the disbanded McKissock & Hoffman. The largest group of attorneys from McKissock & Hoffman joined Eckert Seamans.

Conn said Thorp Reed’s expansion in the city had nothing to do with what other Pittsburgh firms were doing. He said Philadelphia provided good growth opportunities.

Conn said the Kittredge Donley attorneys and Thorp Reed’s existing Philadelphia attorneys would combine office space as soon as possible.

~Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

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