Two Washington law firms that specialize in advising financial institutions have agreed to merge.

Silver, Freedman & Taff will combine with Elias, Matz, Tiernan & Herrick on Jan. 1, according to the companies' joint Wednesday press release. The new firm, called Silver, Freedman, Taff & Tiernan, will focus on providing financial institutions with counsel on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, regulatory issues and other matters.

"Through the combining of our firms, we gain additional depth in not only our securities and regulatory practice, but also in our ability to help structure transactions with start-up and private equity firms, assist management in the establishment of employee benefit and compensation programs, develop and implement corporate defense planning and tactics, and provide real estate, litigation support and tax planning advisory services," Ray Tiernan, managing partner of Elias, Matz, said in the press release.

The new law firm will be located at the current office of Silver, Freedman & Taff at 3299 K Street.

This year, the law firm Stinson Morrison Hecker in Kansas City, Mo., announced plans to join forces with Leonard, Street and Deinhard of Minneapolis. Both companies specialize in financial institutions M&A.

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