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Outside Counsel: Big deals with a Maryland legal connection

Saul Ewing adds Boston office

Saul Ewing LLP will expand its reach beyond the mid-Atlantic and into New England with a small office in Boston, it announced on June 13.

On July 1, the firm will add one name partner and six other lawyers from Dionne & Gass LLP, a real estate, business and finance law firm with a nearly 20-year presence in Boston. The new location will be Saul Ewing’s 10th office, including the one in Baltimore it acquired in a 1998 merger with Weinberg & Green LLC.

Richard Gass, Dana Lanzillo, Don Lussier, Sally E. Michael and Joanne Robbins will become partners at Saul Ewing. Jim Shulman will join as special counsel and Gabriel Safar will join as an associate.

They will be part of Saul Ewing’s project and resource development department and real estate practice group. Saul hopes to expand the Boston firm’s existing client base and add litigation, health care, environmental and education law to its range of services.

Richard Dionne, the other name partner of Dionne & Gass, will be pursuing other business opportunities but will sublease office space from the firm.

Hunt Valley financial firm extends into Pa., Del.

On June 1, Hunt Valley-based Heritage Financial Consultants LLC merged with the America Group. The Wilmington, Del. firm brings 35 years of experience to the financial planning company. The agreement is the first to expand Heritage beyond Maryland’s borders.

Germantown company announces merger

Universita, a medical release-of-information company based in Germantown, has merged with the Alpharetta, Georgia-based HealthPort.

The company will retain the name HealthPort, which specializes in the compliant exchange of protected health information.

“Through this merger with Universata, we are embarking on yet another opportunity to exceed the needs of our customers and further our technology to an entirely paperless environment for requesting, processing and distributing medical records,” said Mike Labedz, HealthPort’s president and CEO, in a press release.

Maryland & D.C. Credit Union Association remains independent

The 129-member Maryland & District of Columbia Credit Union Association will not merge with the New Jersey Credit Union League, the groups announced in early June. In February, the two organizations said they were considering a merger, but the unions have decided to remain independent after exploring the possibility for several months.

Clement Pappas joins with Canadian company

A company that operates a New Jersey canning plant will merge with Lassonde Industries, a Quebec-based juice canning company.

Dean Pappas, current CEO of Clement Pappas and Company Inc., will retire, but the family will retain a minority stake in the new entity. Clement Pappas, nephew of Dean, will take over as CEO.

The new company will be run as a subsidiary of Lassonde and will retain its name.

The Pappas company employs 630 workers across the country, managing plants in Maryland, North Carolina, Arkansas and California.

According to a press release, advisors to the companies in the lead-up to the merger were Jeffries & Company Inc., working with Lassonde as the exclusive M&A advisor, and Goldman Sachs working with Pappas.

Susquehanna Bancshares acquires Tower Bancorp

With the $343 million purchase of Tower Bancorp Inc., Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. will become the largest community bank in Pennsylvania, according to a news release.

Including Susquehanna’s pending acquisition of Abington Bancorp, the combined company will have approximately $17.8 billion in assets and will be the largest bank in deposit market share and branch count among independent banks that have more than 90 percent of their deposits in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.