Skip to Main Content.
  • FBT Alvarado Smith lock up logo on blue background

    Frost Brown Todd to Combine with California-Based AlvaradoSmith, Expanding Nationwide Platform

Merger marks significant coast-to-coast expansion for Frost Brown Todd and growth opportunity for AlvaradoSmith

National law firm Frost Brown Todd (FBT) and California-based AlvaradoSmith are announcing their plan to merge. The combination will add new depth to FBT’s core practices and industry teams while expanding its geographic reach to key California legal markets. Meanwhile, it allows AlvaradoSmith, a leading minority-owned firm with deep ties to the region’s diverse business community, to broaden its reach and enhance the range of services available to its clients.

Read in Spanish | GO>>

The addition of AlvaradoSmith’s 23 lawyers will give the combined firm more than 575 attorneys in 16 offices across eight states and Washington, D.C. In California, the firm will operate under the name Frost Brown Todd AlvaradoSmith through 2023 and then fully absorb the FBT name. The combination, which takes effect January 1, 2023, will add offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Francisco to FBT’s national network.

“AlvaradoSmith shares Frost Brown Todd’s commitment to a culture of excellence in serving both our clients and our communities,” said FBT Chairman Robert Sartin. “Bringing together AlvaradoSmith’s local know-how and Frost Brown Todd’s national network of leading attorneys will allow us to expand our capabilities and strengthen the value we offer to clients. Given the economic and regulatory significance of the California market, we are excited about the opportunities this merger will provide.”

FBT is a full-service law firm with over a century of experience, serving regional, national, and international clients in a range of industries, including the energy, finance, health care, manufacturing, and technology industries. Although FBT has its roots in Mid-America, within the past decade it has expanded to offices in Pittsburgh, Houston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C., all while preserving its collaborative, people and client-first culture.

“AlvaradoSmith is known for successfully taking on matters and clients often associated with big firms, while FBT has the resources of a large firm with the culture of a boutique shop,” said AlvaradoSmith Managing Shareholder Ruben Smith. “That’s why we’re confident this combination will be an excellent fit, allowing us to grow our capacity and resources while still retaining our deep connection to clients and community. We look forward to a very productive future with Frost Brown Todd.”

AlvaradoSmith has first-rate practice groups in business litigation, employment, real estate, energy, environment, and government services that will complement and strengthen FBT’s offerings in the California market – particularly in the energy and renewables sector. Further, AlvaradoSmith’s experience serving clients in several Latin American countries complements Frost Brown Todd’s existing Latin America practice. Smith and Salinas will co-chair FBT’s Latin America desk providing a gateway for additional international work.

“After careful deliberation, we know that this is the right move for our firm,” said AlvaradoSmith Los Angeles Managing Shareholder Raul Salinas. “Our clients are dealing with increasingly complex matters that reach beyond California and are looking for law firms with the size, resources, and geographic diversity to deliver what they need on a larger scale. We are proud to add our capabilities to such a strong national firm, whose approach to client service, community investment, and diversity mirrors our own.”

Smith will serve as Partner-in-Charge of the Orange County office and co-chair of FBT’s diversity and inclusion committee, contributing to the firm’s longstanding commitment and actions to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in law, business, and society. Salinas will serve as Partner-in-Charge of the Los Angeles office on the firm’s partner personnel committee. Theodore Bacon will serve as Partner-in-Charge of the San Francisco office and on the firm’s associate personnel committee.

“This merger is a natural next step and tremendous growth opportunity for both Frost Brown Todd and AlvaradoSmith,” said FBT Chief Executive Officer Adam Hall. “As one of the largest and most influential economies in the world, California intersects with every one of Frost Brown Todd’s practice groups and many of our offices. We know our clients will benefit greatly from the extensive knowledge and relationships that AlvaradoSmith attorneys have cultivated throughout the state for decades. We look forward to working with them as we significantly expand our presence in California and strengthen Frost Brown Todd’s preeminent industry teams.”

Together, the combined firm will offer robust regional and national practices, particularly in energy and renewables, technology, manufacturing, mobility and infrastructure, and public/private partnerships.

California represents a significant milestone in FBT’s recent growth. Representing approximately 15% of U.S. GDP, California is one of the most dynamic business and legal environments in the country, often setting regulations and standards that drive decision-making beyond its borders. Health care, technology, and energy—some of FBT’s key service areas—are among the fastest-growing industries in the state. The addition of AlvaradoSmith, a well-established California firm with a long track record of success, will allow the combined firm to serve both new and existing clients in the state and beyond. To read this release in Spanish, click here.

About AlvaradoSmith 

One of the nation’s largest minority-owned and operated law firms, AlvaradoSmith was founded more than 30 years ago to leverage the growing diversity of the legal profession to bring clients better service, more creative and practical solutions, and a greater focus on the business and strategic success of the people they serve. Today, AlvaradoSmith is a full-service law firm with 20-plus attorneys located in three offices across California. It prides itself on being a law firm where quality professionals thrive in an environment that values excellence, inclusion, and client service and dedication. A stronger, smarter, and more skillful 21st-century law firm, AlvaradoSmith is dedicated to helping clients succeed today and long into the future. For more information, visit