Spokane Journal of Business

Witherspoon Kelley to be acquired by Boise firm

138-year-old firm to become part of Hawley Troxell

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Witherspoon Kelley, the 138-year-old Spokane law firm, is being acquired by Hawley Troxell as the Boise-based firm enters the Inland Northwest market.

All of Witherspoon Kelley’s 22 attorneys and 24 staff members plan to join Hawley Troxell as of Jan. 1, says Rick Mount, president of the longtime Spokane firm. That includes staff at the Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, and Yakima offices. All of those offices will go by the Hawley Troxell name after the transaction is completed.

Amy Holly, a spokeswoman for Hawley Troxell, declines to disclose the terms of the transaction.

Mount says talks with the Boise firm began in mid-October. Joining with Hawley Troxell, he says, will allow them to be more competitive against other firms in drawing clients.

The medium-sized firms like ours are squeezed from the top down with the bigger firmsand also squeezed by the smaller firms,” Mount says.

He hopes the acquisition also will aid the Inland Northwest offices in hiring and retaining attorneys. 

“Some of our partners have gone to regional firms or some smaller Spokane firms,” Mount says. “We've had some associates who have been courted away by regional and national firms. We're having a tough time being able to meet what they were being offered by Seattle or national firms.”

The staff count is down from just last year, when Witherspoon Kelley had a peak of 100 employees, including 48 attorneys, after acquiring Yakima-based law firm Lyon, Weigand & Gustafson PS.

He adds, “Right now, we have more work than we have attorneys to do it."

Mount and several other attorneys at the Spokane-based firm will become partners in Hawley Troxell. 

Witherspoon Kelley’s annual revenue is about $18 million, Mount says. The firm was established here in 1884 and is headquartered on the 11th floor of the U.S. Bank Building, at 422 W. Riverside, in downtown Spokane. The firm established its Coeur d’Alene office, at 608 Northwest Boulevard, in the 1980s.

With the acquisition, Hawley Troxell will have seven offices in Washington, Idaho, and Nevada. The firm will serve a regional market extending from the Canadian border to Reno, Nevada, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, a press release from Hawley Troxell states.

According to the release, Hawley Troxell will remain headquartered in Boise. The firm has about 70 attorneys, which will swell to a headcount of 100 as of Jan. 1.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the health care industry. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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