Two Pittsburgh Powerhouses Join Forces

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Two Downtown-based law firms -- Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Potter P.C., and Gefsky and Lehman P.C. -- will merge next month and combine their offices later this year.

The century-old Strassburger McKenna firm, with 22 attorneys, counts commercial litigation and business, family and employment law among its more than a dozen practice areas. The Gefsky firm, founded in 1971, has an expertise in corporate transactions with clients that include growing technology firms and family-owned or other closely held businesses.

"There is a lot of work for clients of theirs that they can't do. They lose that, or they have to refer it around town," said E.J. Strassburger, who will be president of the new firm known as Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky P.C.

Strassburger McKenna offers many of those services, he said, and his firm expects to draw on Gefsky's specialty areas.

"This is a situation where 1 and 1 hopefully is much more than 2," said Strassburger, whose grandfather Eugene B. Strassburger founded the firm.

The deal takes effect April 1. Gefsky partners H. Arnold Gefsky, Michael D. Fox, Steven M. Cherin and David L. Pollack and two other attorneys will move from that firm's offices in One PPG Place to the Strassburger McKenna headquarters in Four Gateway Center.

Strassburger and Gefsky are longtime friends who talked a few years ago about a combined law practice.

Nothing came of it then. But, "nine months ago, something prompted me to give him a call and say, 'maybe we ought to think about it,'" Gefsky said.

"The fit is just outstanding," Gefsky said, down to the amount of vacant space on Gateway Four's 22nd floor that will be just right for his firm's lawyers.

Yale Gutnick and Gefsky will be vice presidents. Cherin, Harry F. Kunselman, Joseph R. Lawrence and Reid B. Roberts will form a management committee that handles day-to-day business.

Strassburger McKenna has offices in Greensburg and in New Brighton, Beaver County. The firm is known for representing media interests including Trib Total Media and the Tribune-Review Publishing Co., along with commercial lenders, corporate litigation clients, municipalities and individuals.

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