Wendel Rosen LLP's Managing Partner Dan Rapaport will serve as a special advisor to the combined operations with Fennemore. Photos via Fennemore

published on June 17, 2022 - 11:46 AM
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The Fennemore law firm announced Tuesday it has joined forces with Oakland firm Wendel Rosen LLP, expanding the West Coast reach of both shops.

It’s the latest operational move for the Phoenix-based firm that debuted in the Fresno market by merging with Dowling Aaron in 2020. It also represents the fourth major influx of legal talent to Fennemore in two years. 

After the local merger, Fennemore Dowling Aaron became the third-largest law firm by number of attorneys in the Central Valley for 2021, according to Business Journal research.

The 56 attorneys and 45 allied legal professionals from Wendel Rosen joining Fennemore will broaden the firm’s reach, now with a combined 250 attorneys serving the western United States.

James Goodnow, CEO and managing partner, Fennemore


“We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding attorneys and professionals who share our commitment to innovating alongside our clients and helping them thrive,” said James Goodnow, CEO and managing partner of Fennemore.

The merger will expand Fennemore’s Northern California reach with Wendel Rosen’s offices in Oakland, Walnut Creek and Modesto. It now has 14 locations on the West Coast.

“The Bay Area represents one of the largest technology and business centers in the world,” Goodnow said. “Together with the team from Wendel, we will work to help our clients capitalize on this region’s phenomenal economy.”

Goodnow will remain CEO and managing partner of the combined firm, with Wendel’s Daniel Rapaport joining the management committee as a special advisor alongside executive committee member Steve Cramer, bringing more than 30 years of experience to the team.

William “Buddy” Rowell will act as the local managing partner.

“Beginning a new era with Fennemore while remaining true to our deep roots and commitment to the Bay Area will allow us to even better serve clients on the largest and most complex matters in Northern California and the Western states,” said Rapaport. “We are tremendously impressed with the talent, leadership and innovation of the people at Fennemore. The firms’ cultures, values and deep commitment are indistinguishable.”

Fennemore has completed three other notable merger-and-acquisition moves over the past two years, including the previously mentioned Dowling Aaron merger. It also onboarded the Denver-based litigation team of Reilly LLP in August 2021 and completed a mass lateral hire of about 50 attorneys and professionals in Southern California in April.

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