Jaffe combines with Taft to expand Midwest reach

Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, & Weiss PC, a Michigan full-service law firm, recently announced it is merging with Taft, Stettinius, & Hollister LLP, an Am Law 100 law firm with offices across the Midwest and the District of Columbia.

The merge takes effect Dec. 31.

“Jaffe is starting a new, modern chapter by joining Taft,” said Jaffe CEO Mark Cooper. “Taft shares our entrepreneurial mindset, Midwestern values, and commitment to culture, community, and client service. Our ability to leverage Taft’s resources and expertise will provide an opportunity to drive even greater value and results to our clients.”

Taft operates a “non-headquarter” model in seven primary Midwest markets and the District of Columbia,

After joining Taft, the current Jaffe leadership team will continue to lead and make Detroit market decisions, and many will step into firm-wide leadership roles, serving on Taft’s executive committee, all other major committees of the firm, and chairing practice groups.

The combined full-service firm, with more than 800 attorneys, will offer a broad spectrum of legal services to a wide range of industries, representing all significant practice areas.

“At Taft, our pervasive ‘client-first’ approach is central to who we are and how we operate,” said Robert J. Hicks, Taft’s chairman and managing partner. “By combining with Jaffe, we welcome a cohesive, talented, and experienced group of attorneys and staff to our team offering expanded expertise to clients. As in all of our mergers, we also look forward to continuing to support the Detroit regional community, united in our commitment to engage with our communities — a shared value among our firms.”

Founded in 1968, Jaffe represents public and private clients throughout the Midwest and United States, and internationally, with a Midwestern rate structure.

With offices in Southfield and Detroit, Jaffe is currently the seventh largest law firm in the metropolitan Detroit area with more than 120 attorneys representing more than 25 practice areas.

“Jaffe was founded more than 50 years ago and has created a firm centered on client service and exceptional legal counsel,” said Jaffe Chairman Arthur Weiss. “By joining Taft, a firm that shares our values and client-first approach, we ensure the legacy of the firm will continue for generations to come, in alignment with our foundational principles.

The combination not only expands Jaffe’s capabilities, but it also expands Taft’s presence as it enters its eighth Midwest market — the second-largest in the Midwest.

With the Jaffe merger, Taft will have major offices in seven of the nine largest Midwest metropolitan markets.

In addition to several strategic lateral hires and robust internal growth, Taft has completed five mergers/combinations in the past 15 years — Briggs & Morgan (Minneapolis) in 2020, Shefsky & Froelich (Chicago) in 2014, Chester Willcox & Saxbe (Columbus) in 2012, and Kahn Kleinman (Cleveland) and Sommer Barnard (Indianapolis), both in 2008.

The addition of Jaffe comes at a time of strategic growth for Taft — having recently been named an Am Law 100 firm.

In addition, Taft has grown its attorney headcount by more than 85 percent in the past five years.

Such growth has enabled Taft to invest significantly in modern initiatives, including its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, according to the law firm.

Today, more than 70 percent of Taft’s executive leadership team are women and/or racially and ethnically diverse attorneys.