Smith Gambrell & Russell has doubled the size of its New York office by combining with a 19-lawyer general practice boutique, Hartman & Craven.
The move "rounds out" the firm's New York practice, making it more full-service, said Stephen Forte, Smith Gambrell's managing partner. "They are deep in real estate, deep in transactional and corporate and they have a very good trusts and estates practice which melds with our T&E practice up there," he said.
Smith Gambrell forayed into New York four years ago and opened a seven-lawyer office by acquiring a litigation boutique, Bainton McCarthy. The office has increased to 18 lawyers, according to the firm's website, which included the 2009 addition of a four-lawyer trusts and estates firm, Roy P. Kozupsky & Associates.
The addition gives Smith Gambrell about 175 lawyers firmwide, with its expanded New York practice making up almost one-fourth of its lawyer head count. In addition to its Atlanta headquarters, the firm has offices in Jacksonville, Fla., Washington and a one-person outpost in Frankfurt, Germany.
The New York deal was effective Oct. 1. Forte said his firm delayed announcing it until now because it was sorting out how it would integrate two Manhattan offices and wanted to notify clients.
He said the Hartman & Craven lawyers would move from their office at 488 Madison Ave. to Smith Gambrell's office at 250 Park Ave. and he expected them to be fully moved in after the first of the year.
Hartman & Craven represents a mix of individuals and businesses. Manhattan real estate brokers, property managers and condo associationsincluding retail über-broker Faith Hope Consolo, the self-dubbed "queen of retail"are clients, as are shoemaker Steve Madden Ltd. and apparel maker Jones Group Inc., whose brands include the lawyer-favorites Anne Klein and Jones New York.
Forte said the two firms share at least one major bank as a client, which he declined to name.
The Hartman & Craven lawyers will practice as the Hartman & Craven Law Group of Smith, Gambrell & Russell through 2013 and then adopt the firm's name.
Forte said Smith Gambrell had been looking for a solid transactional practice in New York since establishing its office there in 2008.