Hawley Troxell expands via merger, hirings

Hawley Troxell, a law firm that traces its roots to Idaho’s territorial days, is expanding.

The Boise firm, which has offices in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Coeur d’Alene and Reno, will boost its presence in Eastern Idaho by merging Saturday with Smith & Banks PLLC, a firm with four attorneys in Idaho Falls and a fifth expected to join soon.

Hawley Troxell also has hired five attorneys previously associated with Carey Perkins LLC in Boise.

After the merger, Hawley Troxell will have 64 attorneys, including 28 partners, plus 10 paralegals, five managers and 47 employees in support roles such as accounting, human resources, information technology and administrative assistance. The firm believes it is the largest in Idaho.

Managing Partner Nick Miller said the Smith & Banks lawyers “are extremely knowledgeable and well-thought-of in their community, so they are the perfect fit for us.” The ex-Carey Perkins lawyers have varying experience levels, “positioning the firm to continue to serve clients for years to come,” Miller said.

The terms of the merger and the hirings were not disclosed. Marvin M. Smith, one of the founding partners of Smith & Banks, will become a partner in Hawley Troxell. So will David W. Knotts, the most senior of the lawyers who left Carey Perkins.

Hawley Troxell quoted Knotts saying that moving offered a chance for he and his colleagues to expand their client bases and strengthen Hawley Troxell’s litigation practice group.

Other Smith & Banks lawyers joining Hawley Troxell at Jeffery W. Banks, Marvin K. Smith and Steven M. Boyce, with Austin Strobel joining after sitting for the bar exam. The four other ex-Carey Perkins lawyers are Carsten A. Peterson, Tracy L. Wright, William K. Fletcher and Jessica E. Pollack.

Law firms’ need to keep up with technological demands was a factor in the Smith & Banks merger, Hawley Troxell said. Technology has led clients to increase their expectations for responsiveness and service, including easier and faster access to documents. Big firms are better able to invest in software and other technology, the firm said.

Hawley Troxell’s roots go back to James Hawley, who came to Idaho in 1862. Hawley practiced law with William Borah, who went on to become Idaho’s longest-serving member of Congress. Hawley and Borah were prosecutors in the “Trial of the Century,” a 1907 case against union leaders for the assassination of former Gov. Frank Stuenenberg. Hawley later was elected governor.

The firm was founded in 1964 by Gov. Hawley’s grandsons, Jess Hawley Jr. and Jack Hawley, and Robert Troxell and Paul Ennis.