Rifkin Weiner Livingston acquiring Biran Kelly
By: Anamika Roy Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer November 1, 2017
In an effort to expand its litigation practice, Annapolis-based Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC is acquiring Baltimore-based Biran Kelly LLC effective Jan. 2.
Principals Jonathan Biran and Ty Kelly and associate Alison Schurick will be based out of RWL’s Baltimore office in Clipper Mill. The firm also will acquire Biran Kelly’s Washington office.
RWL represents Washington clients out of its Bethesda office, and this will be the first time in a while the firm will have an address in the district, said Alan M. Rifkin, RWL’s managing partner.
“We’re always looking to add talented, sophisticated lawyers when the opportunity arises,” said Alan M. Rifkin, managing partner at RWL. “This is really a perfect combination.”
The deal came together in slightly over a month, he added.
“When the right opportunity arises, it’s not difficult to make the decision,” Rifkin said.
RWL is no stranger to mergers; Rifkin and Arnold M. Weiner merged their practices in May 2013, creating a firm with two dozen lawyers with a fourth office in Upper Marlboro.
For Biran Kelly, which opened its doors about four-and-a-half years ago, the acquisition provides a balance between working in a small firm and having the resources unavailable to a three-person operation.
“I don’t think we’re going to miss the administrative duties that we were handling,” Biran said. “This will free us up to bring in new work and have that additional support so we’re not expected to do everything ourselves.”
Biran Kelly started looking for a new home in the spring after another firm approached them, Biran said. When the deal did not pan out, the firm found RWL had a need and realized an acquisition would be a good fit, Biran said.
When looking for a new home, Biran Kelly wanted a platform that would support their growing white collar practice and allow them to take on more sophisticated civil cases, Ty Kelly said.
“One of the things that sets RWL apart is that they have a regional firm with a national reputation for sophisticated, extremely good legal work,” Kelly said. “We wanted to make sure we’d be surrounded by talented and creative lawyers who were doing the work we wanted to be doing.”
Biran and Kelly left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore in February 2013 to start their own firm, an uncommon move for federal prosecutors. But they were busy right of the gate, signing their first client just two days after opening a Baltimore office
Rifkin said he expects similar results come January.
“Our firm is growing rapidly, we have terrific clients and complex and interesting issues that are on the table and there’s plenty to do,” Rifkin said. “They’re going to hit the ground running.”