Tinsley

CHARLESTON -- After more than four years of talk, a merger between Pittsburgh-based Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott and Charleston-based Hendrickson and Long has become a reality.

The two firms had been considering the merger for a long time, and it finally went into effect Thursday.

"We had a long experience with the firm and Dave Hendrickson," said Tim Ryan, chief executive officer of Eckert Seamans. "We had gotten to know them and respect them. We're going to be able to broaden our geographic scope and bring in expertise with Hendrickson and Long that we did not have before."

The merger will give Hendrickson and Long the resources of a larger firm, said David Hendrickson of Hendrickson and Long.

"It will give us an opportunity to offer our clients services we don't normally do -– things like real estate," he said. "We were primarily a litigation firm."

The name of the combined firm will be Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott.

All 12 attorneys from Hendrickson and Long will join the firm.

Dwane L. Tinsley, president of the West Virginia Bar Association, will serve as a member in the law firm. Others joining Eckert Seamons as members are Hendrickson, R. Scott Long, Jeffry H. Hall, Josef A. Horter and Stephen M. Schwartz will be joining Eckert Seamans as members. Apryll H. Boggs, Stepehn E. Hastings, Lora A. Dyer and Jerome Sparks will be joining the firm as associates. Barbara Allen Samples and J. Miles Morgan will join as special counsel.

"This will bring in a very strong staple of West Virginia practitioners that will broaden our scope," Ryan said. "We can now sell to our clients the presence of West Virginia."

Hendrickson said his firm is excited about the merger.

"Our clients will see its pretty much business as usual with the lawyers they've been working with for 20-plus years with the added benefit of new expertise," he said.

Eckert Seamans will keep its Charleston office at 214 Capitol St. in Charleston, which is the same place where Hendrickson and Long is located.

Eckert Seamans has 275 attorneys in 10 offices throughout the eastern United States.

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