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Baltimore, MD –Venable LLP represented Mercantile Bankshares Corporation in Mercantile's largest ever acquisition, which closed on August 12, 2003. The team of attorneys responsible for guiding Mercantile’s purchase of Frederick-based F&M Bancorp and its principal banking subsidiary Farmers & Mechanics Bank, were drawn from several Venable practice groups (Real Estate, Financial Services, Antitrust, Securities and Employee Benefits) and included more than two dozen attorneys, including partners Tuck Washburne, Melissa Warren, Lee Miller, Peter Heyward, Michael Conron, Alan Yarbro, Jim Wright, William Coston and Barbara Schlaff and George Johnston.

The purchase, for $543.4 million in stock and cash, positions long-standing Venable client Mercantile as Maryland’s largest independent bank holding company. With this acquisition, Mercantile also becomes the state's second largest in terms of total deposits, with more than $10 billion.

“This deal was a complex transaction in a highly regulated industry,” said Tuck Washburne, co-chair of Venable’s Business Transactions Group. “We are pleased Venable could bring together the necessary breadth of experience and multiple areas of practice in business transactions, real estate, employee benefits and financial services, to accomplish this multifaceted deal in a timely manner.”

The team of attorneys, chosen for their knowledge and experience in a diverse cross section of industry specialties, joined forces in early March 2003 shortly before Mercantile first announced the F&M Bancorp merger.

Mercantile Bankshares Corporation (Nasdaq: MRBK), with assets in excess of $13 billion, is a multibank holding company headquartered in Baltimore. It has 17 banking affiliates in Maryland, one banking affiliate in Delaware and three in Virginia.

One of the American Lawyer’s top 100 law firms, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.