Law firm, consultant form alliance


Local law firm Piper Rudnick LLP and a Washington-based consultant, the Cohen Group, have formed an alliance to pursue business opportunities worldwide, the companies said yesterday.

The firms would not disclose the financial terms of the alliance.

"Complementary experience and resources at Piper Rudnick and the Cohen Group combine to provide extensive legal and strategic counsel to companies at key [junctures]," said William S. Cohen, the Cohen Group's chairman and chief executive officer and a former U.S. defense secretary who spent 24 years in Congress.

The Cohen Group, founded in January of last year, provides clients with consulting services and advice on business opportunities in the United States and foreign markets, the company said. It also focuses on federal procurement, health care, information technology and the capital markets, including such financial transactions as mergers and acquisitions.

Piper Rudnick, a national law firm with key offices in Baltimore, specializes in business law, with a focus on technology, real estate and litigation. In light of the fallout from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the law firm is increasing its focus on such areas as government policy and regulatory affairs, said Francis B. Burch Jr., co-chairman of Piper Rudnick.

Together, the firms will help clients with such financial transactions as mergers and acquisitions and with money-raising initiatives such as stock or bond offerings. They will also focus on international business, helping clients with their first foray into a foreign market or in expanding in a market overseas.

Burch said Piper Rudnick's alliance with Cohen is important because of an emerging trend among law, accounting and other professional services, including consulting: Clients with a problem or a new business opportunity increasingly want to work with one company instead of having to deal individually with an army of companies.

The ability to operate as a single entity makes the Piper-Cohen partnership ideal, Burch said. "The Cohen Group ... represents a perfect complement to us," he said.

The firms are working to identify opportunities to assist current clients while marketing the capabilities of the new alliance, they said.

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