Frost Brown Todd serves Midwestern and southern clients from its
offices in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. The firm
houses more than 40 practice areas, from traditional departments
such as litigation, government relations, and mergers and
acquisitions, to more niche specialties, like equine law.
In a 2000 "merger of equals," Louisville-based Brown Todd &
Heyburn joined practices with Frost & Jacobs, a
Cincinnati-based firm (which had served as a former home for Jerry
Springer in his days as a lawyer.) The merger helped FBT become the
first Midwest firm to land on the National Law Journal's
rankings of the 100 largest law firms. (The firm has called itself
a "super-regional" force).
FBT provides legal services for companies doing business
internationally through its alliances abroad with Wahlert
Rechstanwalte, a German firm, and Hubei Sunshine, a law firm in
China's Hubei Province. FBT also represents cities' top
institutions from its official headquarters in Louisville and its
largest office in Cincinnati.
The firm has a hand in many practices, including corporate, real
estate and tax work, but one of its most reputed departments is
litigation-the firm has ranked in the top ten litigation firms in
Intellectual Property Today. FBT's product liability group
has served as national coordinating defense counsel for massive
serial product liability litigation on Fen-Phen diet pills,
tobacco, breast implants and lead paint.
Masters of Mass Disaster
FBT's litigation department has historically had a rather grisly
specialty-defending mass tort litigation stemming from deadly
fires. After almost 170 people died in a fire at Beverly Hills
Supper Club in 1977, FBT's former incarnation represented six
defendants in the class action lawsuits which followed. In 1980,
the firm again represented litigation defendants when a fire at the
MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas killed 84, and when a 2003 Rhode
Island night club erupted in flames at a White Snake concert FBT
lawyers were enlisted as counsel for manufacturers of the
insulation foam that had lined the club's walls and ceilings.
Service with a Smile
The firm also has a wide-ranging client list, counseling finance
firms, insurance companies, media firms and healthcare providers.
Through its intellectual property department, FBT has created
licensing agreements for such famed brands as Pokemon, Care Bears,
Star Wars and Jurassic Park and acts as counsel to Minor League
Baseball. The firm also has an active labor and employment group
(with a mantra of "staying union-free") through which it has
defended hundreds of clients against discrimination claims before
the EEOC and other state agencies. Other clients have included Duke
Energy, Ford Motor Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Toyota Motor
Manufacturing and General Electric. FBT strives to make them a
happy bunch-the firm has been recognized for client
Jack of All Trades
FBT has not been satisfied staying in the legal arena alone. The
firm's lobbying arm, Bates Capitol Group, does lobbying for
businesses like UPS and Microsoft and the firm provides investment
options through its New Markets Tax Credits and Incentis groups. If
you're looking for real estate insurance, FBT can handle that too,
through its Multi-State Title Agency.
Train Well, Young Grasshoppers
FBT has also gained attention for a unique apprentice program.
In 2009, the firm decided that instead of joining the firm as
first-year associates, newcomers to the firm would take less pay
and focus on training. First years would also only be expected to
bill 1000 hours instead of the previously expected 1800, according
to the ABA Journal.