Litigation Boutique Kaufman & Company to Join Ulmer & Berne

Combination Bolsters First-Chair Trial Expertise and Expands Firm Footprint to New York and Washington, D.C.

Ulmer & Berne LLP today announced the addition of renowned and industry-recognized trial boutique Kaufman & Company to its award-winning litigation practice, creating an elite Midwestern litigation group with first-chair trial expertise. The combination will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Approved overwhelmingly by the Ulmer partnership in mid-November, the combination with the firm led by Steven S. Kaufman also gives Ulmer offices in New York and Washington, D.C., key East Coast markets where the firm already has significant client business. For Kaufman & Company, the transition provides valuable bench strength and a larger, full-service platform.

“We consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to add a group of such high-caliber, high-profile trial attorneys,” said Scott P. Kadish, Ulmer’s Managing Partner. “We, like everyone else in the Ohio legal community and beyond, have known and respected Steve Kaufman and his colleagues for many years. The combination of his firm and ours elevates our already outstanding client-focused litigation capabilities to an even higher level.”

The combination brings together two of Cleveland’s most prominent trial attorneys. Kaufman and Michael N. Ungar, Chair of Ulmer’s Litigation Department, have known each other for years, and each has been recognized for their innovative, tireless client advocacy.

“Starting in the late 1980s and throughout the matters where I’ve sat across the courtroom or negotiating table from Steve, one thing has remained clear – you do not want to be in the unenviable position of having him as your adversary,” said Ungar. “Steve is the textbook definition of an elite trial lawyer, and at the same time he epitomizes civility and professionalism. He has built a great team at Kaufman & Company, providing the highest quality and highest value legal services and representation. In other words, it’s a perfect fit with our firm.”

“After nearly 10 years, we have grown our boutique business litigation firm to the point where we really needed a larger platform to support both client and attorney professional growth,” Kaufman said. “We wanted to partner with a growing firm with first-chair trial attorneys, an outstanding litigation reputation, and a collaborative firm culture. We evaluated many law firms and kept coming back to Ulmer. The firm is an ideal fit for us, and we couldn’t be more excited to join.”

In addition to Kaufman & Company’s 10 attorneys, Ulmer will also gain the firm’s New York and Washington, D.C. offices, giving it seven office locations across the Midwest, East Coast, and Florida.

“The expansion of our geographic footprint was an attractive aspect of this combination,” Kadish said. “While New York is an extremely competitive legal market, the middle market presents outstanding opportunities, particularly for a firm like ours, with an elite, fast-growing commercial litigation group.”

All 10 lawyers from Kaufman & Company will be joining Ulmer. They are:

  • Steven S. Kaufman, Partner
  • Christopher “Kip” Schwartz, Partner
  • Charles “Chad” D. Cooper, Partner
  • Robin M. Wilson, Partner
  • Paul R. Dehmel, Counsel
  • Christiane M. McKnight, Counsel
  • Katherine M. Poldneff, Counsel
  • David A. Lewis, Counsel
  • Ashtyn N. Saltz, Associate
  • Sara Dorland, Associate

To read the feature article about the combination of Ulmer and Kaufman & Company in Crain’s Cleveland Business, please click here.

About Ulmer
Ulmer & Berne, established in 1908, focuses on exceeding client expectations and delivering superior, customized legal solutions for an exceptional value. From offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Boca Raton, Ulmer’s attorneys handle cutting-edge, complex matters on a national basis across all practice areas, but retain the work ethic, rates, and user-friendly attitudes reflective of the firm’s Midwest origins. Ulmer emphasizes world-class service and sophisticated expertise at flexible billing arrangements. For more information, please visit ulmer.com.

About Kaufman & Company
The Kaufman & Company team, led by founding member Steven S. Kaufman, is comprised of business trial and litigation lawyers with many years of experience acquired while working in large firm litigation practices. With offices in Cleveland, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., our lawyers bring significant courtroom experience, success, and lead-trial capabilities to cases, having litigated and tried complex and bet-the-company business litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout the U.S. For more information, visit kaufman-company.com.