Legal roundup: Employment, commercial firms merge.


Byline: Thomas Franz

A Mount Clemens commercial law firm has merged with a Birmingham employment law firm.

Viviano Law PLLC recently finalized a merger with Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton PLC.

"I have some long-standing relationships with those guys," firm member Joe Viviano said. "I just have tremendous respect and admiration for the attorneys there. I've had cases against that firm and with that firm, and I've always had the utmost respect for their lawyers."

The new firm is named Kienbaum Hardy Viviano Pelton & Forrest PLC, and maintains offices in Birmingham and Mount Clemens.

"It was an opportunity to broaden the service we provide our clients without compromising the excellence our clients rely on. Joe (Viviano) and his team were a perfect fit for that," said managing member Eric Pelton.

Viviano said he and firm member Will Forrest came into the practice of law together as each started their careers on the same day in the same firm. Those two began talking about a possible merger between their firms last summer.

"It just started picking up momentum and took off from there," Viviano said. "The Kienbaum firm is one of the best employment firms in the area. There's a great synergy between employment and commercial law. My family has very deep roots on the eastside and their firm is in Oakland County, so there's a very good geographic synergy between the two firms."

So far, Pelton said the merger has gone smoothly for both sides.

"We're really enjoying each other, which is the hallmark of our small firm, and for us it's a much more attractive way to practice law as opposed to rejoining a larger firm where most of us came from," Pelton said. "We expect things to continue as they always have on our side except for being slightly bigger and offering services for litigation beyond just employment and labor."

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