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February, 2004 - Detroit, Michigan


Dykema Gossett and Rooks Pitts Announce Merger


Combined Firm to Provide Rooks Pitts Clients and Attorneys with Robust Platform; Deal Gives Dykema Gossett A Substantial Chicago Presence, Advances Midwest Strategy Chicago and Detroit, February 23, 2004 – Dykema Gossett PLLC, a premier Midwest law firm based in Detroit, and Rooks Pitts, a well-established Chicago firm, today announced that they have agreed to join forces.

The merger, which takes effect April 1, 2004, will bring together Rooks Pitts’ 78 attorneys in Chicago, and its two suburban offices, with Dykema Gossett’s 319 attorneys and other professionals located in Illinois, Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. The combined firm will have nearly 400 attorneys and other professionals and will operate under the name of Dykema Gossett. During a transition period in Chicago, where Dykema has maintained a presence for the past 10 years and will have more than 100 attorneys locally, the firm will operate as Dykema Gossett Rooks Pitts. Strategically, the merger gives Dykema Gossett a substantial Chicago presence – the 2nd largest of its offices – and greatly expands the firm’s litigation practice while broadening its platform to deliver corporate, real estate and related practices to current and prospective clients.

Rooks Pitts gains an enhanced platform to offer its clients expanded capabilities in corporate & securities, government policy, Employment, intellectual property, real estate, tax, healthcare and trade regulation.

“This merger provides tremendous benefits to the clients and attorneys of both firms and is a significant milestone in our continued growth,” said Rex E. Schlaybaugh, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Dykema Gossett. “Our combined firm has a distinct Midwest focus and unparalleled depth across a range of practice areas.”

Schlaybaugh added that the combination gives Dykema Gossett one of the nation’s leading litigation practices with more than 160 litigators including a highly successful trial practice, and bench strength that will enable the firm to deliver a broader range of specialized litigation services to address complex, high-exposure litigation in multiple jurisdictions.

Michael C. Borders, managing partner of Rooks Pitts who will serve as managing partner of the combined firm’s Chicago office, noted that while many firms have courted Rooks Pitts in recent years, Dykema Gossett was the first to offer a highly compatible culture and a strategic vision beyond a mere broader geographic platform. “We have been approached a number of times in recent years due to our solid financial performance and quality lawyers,” said Borders. “At the end of the day, Dykema Gossett really impressed us with their strategic vision, Midwestern heritage and professional reputation. Plus, its practice areas complement ours in all the right ways. Combined with their focus on technology, this was the first time the idea of merging really made sense to us.”

The move is part of Dykema Gossett’s overall strategy to continue to grow its Midwest real estate practice to remain at the forefront of these trends and continue to meet evolving client needs in these areas. Advancing the Strategic Plan The combination with Rooks Pitts accelerates the advancement of Dykema Gossett’s strategic plan to become the Midwest region’s pre-eminent law firm by building out core practices in key Midwest commercial centers in order to better serve public and privately-held companies and individual/entrepreneurial clients in a way that larger, national firms aren’t doing. “When it comes to very large law firms, clients are asking themselves, ‘Are we as important to you as you are to us?’”

Schlaybaugh said. “There is a clear need for a Midwest powerhouse – a firm that offers the advantages of both strength and size along with a dedicated market focus.” “Having a strong, vibrant presence in Chicago and Detroit, as well as other important Midwest markets, gives us a unique position and perspective,” Schlaybaugh added. “When client demand requires it, we will also have a presence in other markets, as we do today in Southern California. But, our primary focus will be serving our national and international clients in the Midwest.”

About Dykema Gossett
Dykema Gossett PLLC was founded in 1926 and remains one of the country's most respected law firms. Since the firm’s inception, its mission has been to provide the best possible legal advice and service to clients. The firm offers legal services within a broad range of areas including corporate law, securities, litigation, real estate, banking, administrative law, health care law, insurance law, intellectual property, trade regulation, bankruptcy and creditor rights, labor, taxation, estate planning, employee benefits, computer, and environmental law.

The firm has 319 attorneys and other professionals in eight offices, including Ann Arbor, Mich., Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Mich., Lansing, Mich., Pasadena, Calif., and Washington, DC. The firm’s Web site is www.dykema.com

About Rooks Pitts
Firmly rooted in the business community of metropolitan Chicago since 1897, Rooks Pitts has participated in shaping the development of the Midwest. The firm was founded on work performed for the first regional railroads and steel companies and today is among the premier civil practice firms in Chicago serving regional, national as well as internationally based clients. The firm currently focuses on providing legal services to publicly traded and privately-held businesses, family-owned enterprises, governmental bodies, individuals, manufacturers, retailers, financial institutions, insurance companies, health care providers, real estate developers, software developers, and construction firms. The firm has offices in Chicago, Lisle, Ill., Joliet, Ill. and Aurora, Ill. The firm’s Web site is www.rookspitts.com


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