Stokes & Bartholomew merges with Memphis firm

In a merger with political overtones, the Nashville law firm of Stokes & Bartholomew announced late last night that it was merging with the Memphis law firm of Evans & Petree.

The new law firm will go by the name of Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree.

According to a press release put out by the company, Stokes & Bartholomew lobbyist and former State Senator Bill Bruce was instrumental in pulling the two firms together. Leonard Dunavant Jr., president of Evans & Petree, is the son of former State Senator Leonard Dunavant.

Both Stokes & Bartholomew chairman Sam Bartholomew and Mr. Dunavant made statements in the press release.

Mr. Bartholomew's statement: "After a year of discussion and negotiation, we concluded that our firms and our professional practice areas are a good fit. The merger will clearly provide a greater menu of resources for clients and establish a foundation to capitalize on future growth opportunities. We will continue to emphasize rapid response, teamwork and round-the-clock service to meet client needs."

Mr. Dunavant's statement: "Stokes & Bartholomew's mergers and acquisitions and securities practices will create opportunities for the firm in the Memphis market, and Evans & Petree's specialized tax practices, especially our niche in property tax assessments and appeals, will provide expansion opportunities in the Middle Tennessee market. Our municipal finance, government relations and health care practice groups have already been working together on numerous projects. These areas will be much stronger as will litigation, construction, real estate, estate planning, e-commerce and intellectual property."

Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree will have 65 attorneys and more than 60 other professional and staff personnel in their Nashville and Memphis offices. Stokes & Bartholomew had 46 attorneys; Evans & Petree had 19.