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TWO OF FLORIDA'S SIGNIFICANT LAW FIRMS TO MERGE

 TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The law firms of Macfarlane Ferguson of Tampa and Clearwater, Fla., and Tallahassee, Fla.-based Ausley, McMullen, McGeehee, Carothers & Proctor, announced today their intent to merge effective Feb. 1, 1994. The consolidation of two of Florida's oldest and most prestigious law firms will be known in the future as Macfarlane, Ausley, Ferguson & McMullen.
 Nathan B. Simpson, chairman of Macfarlane Ferguson, will assume the role as president of the new firm. DuBose Ausley, president of the Tallahassee firm, will serve as chairman.
 The new firm will have a combined professional staff in excess of 110 lawyers.
 Simpson said the merger of the two firms is very exciting. "We are of very similar cultures. This will allow us to quickly apply our tremendous strengths and capabilities to our clients' needs," he added.
 Ausley said the merger of two of Florida's premier law firms reflects the intent of the new firm's leadership to provide the highest level of quality service to its clients.
 "The business world is very dynamic, and our firms must be prepared to meet and achieve client expectations. This merger will serve as a statement of our intent to exceed these expectations," the veteran Florida lawyer added.
 Simpson that the continued strength of Macfarlane Ferguson was enhanced in 1993 when the firm merged with the Clearwater firm of McMullen, Everett, Logan, Marquardt & Cline, P.A.
 Both Ausley and Simpson agree that the merger of the two old-line firms sends a message to the state's legal and business communities that the firm's leadership is prepared to meet the dynamics presently in place within the law profession.
 Established in 1884, Macfarlane Ferguson is a full-service firm, specializing in corporate law, banking, health care, environmental, commercial litigation, real estate, securities and administrative law. Ausley, McMullen, the oldest and largest firm in Tallahassee, is a litigation-oriented firm with specialties in regulatory, administrative, legislative, appellate, public utility, health care, federal and state tax, as well as real estate and probate law.
 The firm name is a true reflection of the history behind it. Hugh C. Macfarlane arrived in Tampa in 1884 to begin his legal career. Charles Saxon Ausley, father of DuBose Ausley, started the Tallahassee firm in 1930. Chester H. Ferguson joined the Macfarlane firm in 1935. J. Tweed McMullen founded the Clearwater firm, which merged with Macfarlane Ferguson in 1993, and his cousin D. Fred McMullen joined the Tallahassee firm in 1954.
 Both firms have a long history of public service. Chester Ferguson served as chairman of the Board of Regents and was the longest serving member until this year when DuBose Ausley retired after 15 years on the Board of Regents, including two terms as chairman. Terrell Sessums of Tampa served as Speaker of the House of Representatives and chairman of the Board of Regents. James Harold Thompson of Tallahassee also served as Speaker of the House of Representatives and is the recent chairman of the Environmental Land Management Study Commission for the State of Florida. Stella Ferguson Thayer, former chair of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Committee of 100, and DuBose Ausley served on the 1978 Florida Constitution Revision Commission. David C.G. Kerr of Tampa has served for six years as chairman of the Florida Transportation Commission.
 The firm of Macfarlane, Ausley, Ferguson & McMullen will continue to have offices in Tampa, Clearwater, Palm Harbor and Tallahassee.
 -0- 1/13/94
 /CONTACT: Nathan B. Simpson, 813-273-4200, or DuBose Ausley, 904-224-9115, both of Macfarlane, Ausley, Ferguson & McMullen/


CO: Macfarlane Ferguson; Ausley, McMullen, McGeehee, Carothers &
 Proctor ST: Florida IN: SU: TNM


DP-AW -- FL007 -- 1734 01/13/94 09:56 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1994
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