SD METRO Special Report — Jan. 17, 2012
Luce Forward Law Firm Name to Disappear
Merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge Announced
On March 1, the name of the venerable law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps will disappear forever. On that date the San Diego firm that was established by Moses A. Luce in 1873 will officially merge with the Washington, D.C.-based McKenna Long & Aldridge, an international law firm with 475 attorneys and public policy advisers. The combined firm will continue as McKenna Long & Aldridge and will operate with more than 600 attorneys and public policy advisers in 15 offices in the United States and internationally. “Our focus for the past 138 years has always been to provide our clients with the highest level of service and legal experience,” said Luce Forward Managing Partner Kurt Kicklighter. “By combining with McKenna Long & Aldridge, we provide our clients with an international network of talented attorneys who can service any needs they might have beyond California.”
The merger, announced today (Jan. 17) following a vote by each firm’s partners, will place McKenna Long & Aldridge (MLA) among the top 80 largest law firms in the country and internationally. It will also rank among the 20 largest firms and the third largest real estate practice in California, and will have more than 120 practicing litigation attorneys in the state. Legal services it will provide include litigation, real estate, insurance, government contracts, government affairs and corporate law.
“We took a long look at ways to better meet the growing needs of our clients on the West Coast,” said MLA Chair Jeff Haidet. “The market for legal and regulatory work in California is growing, and Luce Forward’s statewide platform represented a perfect fit for our firm. MLA and Luce Forward share similar values and cultures, and are fully committed to delivering innovative solutions to our clients.”
Moses A. Luce launched his law firm in the early years of San Diego. He drafted the first city charter of the city of San Diego. He was the local postmaster and served as vice president of the Santa Fe Railroad. He practiced law as one of the county’s leading citizens for nearly 50 years until 1922, when he retired at 80. He died at 91. His youngest son, Edgar A. Luce Sr., became a partner in the firm and enjoyed a political career as deputy city attorney, state senator and judge of the San Diego Superior Court. His son, Edgar A. Luce Jr., graduated from Stanford in 1948 and joined the firm that year. He died in 2006.
F. Tudor Scripps joined the firm partnership as a Stanford graduate in 1934 and continued the relationship for almost 30 years. He died in 1963.
Thomas M. Hamilton joined the firm in 1959 after practicing law in another firm and as in-house counsel for Cohu Electronics. Hamilton died in 2011.
Luce Forward maintains offices in Downtown, Carmel Valley/Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Orange County, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
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