2019 Vault Rankings
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 service.
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.
3300 Great American Tower
301 East Fourth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513) 651-6800
Employer Type: Private
CEO: George E. Yund
Total No. Attorneys 2016: 448
1st year: $90,000
Summer associate: $1,600/week
Cincinnati, OH (HQ)
West Chester, OH
Admiralty and Maritime Law
Antitrust Litigation and Counseling
Bankruptcy and Restructuring
Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS)
Distribution, Logistics & Transportation
Drug and Medical Device Litigation
Electronic Data Discovery (EDD) Group
Employee Benefits Law
Estates, Trusts and Wills
Fire and Explosion Litigation
Food & Beverage
Franchise and Distribution
Government Relations and Lobbying
Intellectual Property Law and Litigation
Interactive Media and Internet Law
International Services Group
Labor and Employment
Land Use and Zoning
Lending and Finance
Media and First Amendment
Mergers and Acquisitions
Privacy and Information Security Law
Product Liability Litigation
Public and Project Finance
Public Companies and Securities
Public Private Partnerships (P3)
Securities and Corporate Disputes
Shopping Center/Retail Development
Tort and Insurance Defense
Toxic Tort and Chemical Exposure Litigation
Trucking and Commercial Transportation
Unfair Competition Litigation
White Collar Crime