Merger of Roanoke, Norfolk law firms to bring Richmond offices together

Current leadership features, from still left to proper, prime row, Woods Rogers President Daniel Summerlin, Woods Rogers Chair Victor Cardwell, Woods Rogers Chief Financial Officer Autumn Visser and bottom row, Vandeventer Black Managing Associate Michael Sterling, Vandeventer Black Government Board Member Deborah Casey, and Vandeventer Black Government Director Paul Julius. (Photos furnished by Woods Rogers and Vandeventer Black)

The Richmond outposts of two soon-to-merge Virginia regulation corporations won’t have far to go when it arrives time to combine their area functions.

Roanoke-based Woods Rogers and Norfolk-primarily based Vandeventer Black are set to sign up for forces later on this summer season in a deal that will produce the state’s fifth premier legislation agency with 130 attorneys.

One of the motorists of the relationship is that there’s no overlap between the blended firm’s 7 workplaces — apart from in Richmond.

Both equally corporations have a Richmond area and they equally transpire to be in the identical making and a person flooring aside in the west tower at Riverfront Plaza downtown.

It’ll stay that way when the offer closes July 1, as they plan to continue on utilizing equally spaces as a mixed two-ground office.

The firms say the overlap in Richmond is how they received to know just about every other in earnest. And when the merged companies will technically be headquartered in Roanoke, they hope Richmond to provide as a central site for the firm’s operations statewide.

“We’re one floor in excess of each and every other in the similar building, which is how the connection was initially designed,” Vandeventer Black’s Debbie Casey, who will be vice chair of the put together corporations, claimed of Richmond. “And it is a terrific bridge to convey people with each other in a central location.”

As soon as below the new banner of Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black (WRVB), the firm’s Richmond business office will household 29 staff, such as 18 attorneys. The neighborhood workplace will span Vandeventer Black’s 16th floor space at Riverfront Plaza and Woods Rogers’ on the 15th.

Woods Rogers President Dan Summerlin, who will keep that identical title following the offer closes, mentioned merger conversations began about two yrs back, just prior to the pandemic’s arrival. He said the pandemic accelerated the battle for talent and the mixture is a critical to staying ahead.

“COVID probably slowed us up but also confirmed us the authentic route forward,” Summerlin mentioned of the merger process. “The extra we talked the extra we realized it’s a large chance.”

The Riverfront Plaza, the place both firms have workplaces in the complex’s west tower. (BizSense file)

Both corporations have a historical past of progress by using merger.

Woods Rogers was designed in the late 1800s as a result of the mixture of two Roanoke regulation tactics. In 2016 it merged with Edmunds & Williams in Lynchburg, a deal that introduced on all over 15 lawyers. It also grew in Richmond with the addition of lawyers from LeClairRyan as that company was on the brink of collapse in 2019.

Vandeventer Black, which also was started in the late 1800s, expanded into Richmond in 2005 as the final result of attaining a group of attorneys from yet another firm.

Both equally corporations have been in Richmond for a number of decades, with Woods Rogers concentrating its operate in this article on regulatory concerns, banking, commercial real estate, health-related malpractice, general company law and litigation.

Vandeventer Black has targeted in this article on healthcare malpractice perform, as very well as symbolizing consumers in architecture, engineering, professional true estate and construction.

In addition to the Richmond existence, the combined firm’s seven workplaces will contain Woods Rogers’ destinations in Roanoke, Lynchburg and Charlottesville, and Vandeventer Black’s offices in Norfolk Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and Hamburg, Germany.

Roanoke and Norfolk will be the firm’s two largest workplaces.

Though the development of WRVB marks two firms coming jointly, two other companies did the opposite previously this 12 months. Richmond-centered Cantor Stoneburner Ford Grana & Buckner and Virginia Beach front-dependent Breit Drescher Imprevento split up soon after a two-yr relationship in what was explained as acutely aware uncoupling.”