Employment, commercial firms merge

By Thomas Franz
BridgeTower Media Newswires

DETROIT — A Mount Clemens commercial law firm has merged with a Birmingham employment law firm.

Viviano Law PLLC recently finalized a merger with Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton PLC.

“I have some long-standing relationships with those guys,” firm member Joe Viviano said. “I just have tremendous respect and admiration for the attorneys there. I’ve had cases against that firm and with that firm, and I’ve always had the utmost respect for their lawyers.”

The new firm is named Kienbaum Hardy Viviano Pelton & Forrest PLC, and maintains offices in Birmingham and Mount Clemens.

“It was an opportunity to broaden the service we provide our clients without compromising the excellence our clients rely on. Joe (Viviano) and his team were a perfect fit for that,” said managing member Eric Pelton.

Viviano said he and firm member Will Forrest came into the practice of law together as each started their careers on the same day in the same firm. Those two began talking about a possible merger between their firms last summer.

“It just started picking up momentum and took off from there,” Viviano said. “The Kienbaum firm is one of the best employment firms in the area. There’s a great synergy between employment and commercial law. My family has very deep roots on the eastside and their firm is in Oakland County, so there’s a very good geographic synergy between the two firms.”

So far, Pelton said the merger has gone smoothly for both sides.

“We’re really enjoying each other, which is the hallmark of our small firm, and for us it’s a much more attractive way to practice law as opposed to rejoining a larger firm where most of us came from,” Pelton said. “We expect things to continue as they always have on our side except for being slightly bigger and offering services for litigation beyond just employment and labor.”

Brooks Kushman names new executive committee

Intellectual property firm Brooks Kushman announced new executive committee appointments that went into effect Jan. 1.

The executive committee features shareholders Frank Angileri, Sangeeta Shah, Michael Brodbine, Elizabeth Janda and Matthew Jakubowski. Mark Cantor will continue his role as board chairman and general counsel of the firm.

Angileri was elected president of the firm, and Shah was elected chairperson of the executive committee.

“The good news is that both of us have been here a long time,” Angileri said of himself and Shah. “We both have a strong connection to the firm and have a pretty good understanding of the firm’s history and its strengths.”

One common goal of the executive committee that Angileri expressed is to expand the firm beyond the auto market.

“We’ve done a great job with auto clients and we appreciate them a great deal, but we also have a technology skill set within the firm that enables us to go outside the auto industry. We’ve had a lot of focus in developing those areas and we’ve made a lot of inroads especially recently,” Angileri said.

Shah said she expects the firm to continue to tap into electronic data and analytic resources to enhance their work.

“We have access to a variety of different software programs that allow us to search various legal cases and citations to get a much deeper and broader understanding of things that were historically never possible,” Shah said. “We’re able to mine information and then use that for our clients in completely different ways.”
 

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