Raines Feldman Buys Chicago Firm

Raines Feldman Buys Chicago Firm
Team: Miles Feldman, Jonathan Littrell, Richard Sugar and Andrew Raines.

Century City-based Raines Feldman continued its growth trajectory in April by acquiring Chicago-based law firm Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger.

Nineteen attorneys and 11 others from SFGH will stick around with the merger, bringing Raines Feldman’s total attorney count to around 80. The addition of SFGH, which was founded in 1981, brings Raines Feldman’s footprint to four offices, with locations in Irvine and New York City.

“Our objective is to grow thoughtfully and maintain that growth without sacrificing our culture,” said Jonathan Littrell, Raines Feldman’s managing partner. “The cohesiveness between our firms perfectly aligns with our expansion strategy and the personalities and cultural focus mesh very well with our team, making this a winning opportunity for both of us.”

Terms of the merger were not disclosed.

The acquisition brings additional practice groups — trusts and estates, as well as tax — under the Raines Feldman umbrella. Littrell said the new groups, as well as additional attorneys, will allow the firm to expand its practices firmwide.

“Once you have the group, it’s a lot easier to expand upon it. Fortunately, one of their attorneys is already based in California, so he’s actually a practicing California tax and estates lawyer. The idea is both to expand that in California and New York,” he said. “We’re always looking to expand in our existing markets. It’s our goal to really focus on those markets. There’s a lot of opportunity there.”

SFGH historically has represented middle-market and multigenerational companies for a variety of purposes, which lines up well with Raines Feldman’s business model.

“We’re very proud of the foundation we have built in Chicago over the last 42 years,” said Richard Sugar, who co-founded SFGH and was its managing partner at the time of the merger. “We are excited by the transaction, as it will expand our depth and breadth of services that we are able to provide our new and long-standing clients.”

Founded in 2006, Raines Feldman has made a number of big moves in recent years. Last year, the firm signed an 11-year lease for its Century City office and hired Rami Yanni and Bill Hochberg to launch a media and intellectual property practice here. It also launched its New York office last year, and in 2020 the firm acquired Century City-based Rosenfeld, Wolff & Klein.

Littrell said Raines Feldman would likely have acquired SFGH sooner had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They were on our radar a little bit pre-pandemic, but obviously with the pandemic expansion slowed at the beginning of that,” he said. “We picked up the conversation in October. We’ve always been intrigued by the firm. Culturally they’re a great fit. They have a really great team of attorneys that fits with the caliber we have here and in New York.”

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