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Southern law firms team up to create coast-to-coast offices

COLOMBIA, South Carolina (AP) — Two major Southern law firms are merging into one firm that will have offices on both coasts and more than 550 attorneys.

Lawyers leading Alabama-based Maynard Cooper & Gale and South Carolina-based Nexsen Pruet said their similar philosophies and the tendency for companies to want to do business with larger law firms prompted them to team up.

“More and more clients are asking to have fewer law firms on their list,” Nexsen Pruet chairman Leighton Lord told The Associated Press.

Lord will become president and chief strategy officer of the new Maynard Nexsen firm. Jeff Grantham, managing shareholder of Maynard Cooper & Gale, will become the new firm’s CEO, the combined company announced Thursday.

“Being able to have a bigger bench and a bigger team allows you to handle more important things,” Grantham said.

Grantham and Lord met while studying law at Vanderbilt University, and each said they admired the other’s law firm from afar. A few years ago, they started meeting to discuss their business, and from that moment on, talk of a merger began.

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