Alliance struck between minority-owned firm and majority owned firm is designed to help minority firm develop expertise in new practice areas and ensure its growth.
Minneapolis, MN – January 25, 2010 – Foley & Mansfield, PLLP, a national majority-owned law firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Igbanugo Partners Int’l Law Firm, PLLC, a minority-owned law firm also based in Minneapolis, have entered into a “Transformational Strategic Alliance Agreement.” The purpose of this Strategic Alliance is to provide diverse, multi-cultural legal representation to companies in various areas of law, including commercial litigation, general liability, and product liability actions. This unique new type of Strategic Alliance is one of only a few majority-minority law firm alliances in the nation to date.
The ultimate goal of the Strategic Alliance is to provide a broad range of Fortune 500 corporations with the highest quality of service from well-groomed alliance lawyers of diverse backgrounds. Large corporations who seek out minority-owned law firms to represent them, in transactional work and in litigation, now have the ability to retain Igbanugo Partners, which will be assisted on the matters by attorneys at Foley & Mansfield who already have expertise in that specific area of law. This Strategic Alliance “dual representation” provides a new avenue for Foley & Mansfield to access a larger pool of corporate clients through Igbanugo Partners’ contacts and provides Igbanugo Partners the ability to develop expertise in new areas of the law. The Strategic Alliance also provides Igbanugo Partners with the ability to transition its transactional work to the Strategic Alliance should its cases turn litigious, with the backing of Foley & Mansfield’s highly experienced litigation and trial teams.
Foley & Mansfield and Igbanugo Partners formed this Strategic Alliance naturally as both firms are located on abutting floors in a historic, downtown Minneapolis architectural landmark, the Marquette Plaza. The proximity of the two firms will assist the Strategic Alliance team to confer on cases and use the same litigation support, billing employees and systems, and computer networks.
Founding principal of Igbanugo Partners, Herbert A. Igbanugo, embraces the Strategic Alliance because, “Ethnic minorities in the legal profession have traditionally contemplated a ‘Hobson’s choice:’ join a majority law firm and risk becoming marginalized or go the minority law firm career path and risk exclusion from premium career opportunities in the legal field and the chance to attract or participate in substantial and complex legal matters.” Mr. Igbanugo adds, “We are hopeful that our unique Strategic Alliance will ameliorate this plight for all of our lawyers of color; we certainly count on it.”
Founding partners Kyle Mansfield and Stephen Foley, both well respected and known in the Twin Cities legal community, as well as nationwide, as lawyers’ lawyers, strong negotiators and trial attorneys, are optimistic to move their firm towards more diverse, corporate legal matters. Mr. Mansfield states, “Both firms are really excited about the future in light of this new and promising Strategic Alliance relationship, emphasizing that our commitment to diversity is not just a ploy to attract more work from Corporate America; that’s not what we are doing here. America has truly become a multi-cultural society and we are simply moving in the right direction.”
Foley & Mansfield brings to the Strategic Alliance its well-developed litigation skills, which it intends to use to support Igbanugo Partners in corporate litigation, while Igbanugo Partners brings its culturally diverse background and strong transactional skills to create a one-stop, full service, strategically aligned group of attorneys. As Mr. Foley observed: “Our timely association contemplates a true union of two independent firms, closely connected and working together hand-in-hand in appropriate client matters and equally enjoying all the benefits of our strategic association predicated above all, on mutual respect.”
About Igbanugo Partners Int’l Law Firm, PLLC
Igbanugo Partners joins the alliance with an eight-attorney firm and is associated with one special counsel and five strategic alliance counsels located in D.C. and Sub-Saharan Africa. The firm is certified as a minority-owned business by the Midwest Minority Supplier Development Council and specializes in U.S. Immigration/Nationality Laws and International Trade Law with a narrow focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Igbanugo began his legal career in 1988. In 2000, he co-founded and was a named partner in a law firm that had offices in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Troy, Michigan and that grew to be one of the largest black-owned law firms in the United States. In 2006, Mr. Igbanugo started his current firm Igbanugo Partners. For more information, visit www.igbanugolaw.com.
About Foley & Mansfield, PLLP
Foley & Mansfield is a national majority-owned law firm with approximately 140 attorneys from coast-to-coast. Founded in 1980, the firm’s areas of expertise and practice include: commercial and product liability litigation, employment law, and other areas of law. In addition to its headquarters in Minneapolis, the firm has offices in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, St. Louis, Seattle and San Francisco. For more information, visit www.foleymansfield.com.