New York - Marcum & Kliegman LLP is combining forces with Rachlin LLP, expanding the New York firm's presence to Rachlin's home base in Florida.

The merger was set to take effect June 1. Financial terms were not disclosed. Once the merger goes into effect, Marcum & Kliegman will change its name to Marcum LLP in the Northeast and MarcumRachlin, a division of Marcum LLP, in the South. The combined firm will have more than 800 professionals, including 84 partners, in 10 locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and Grand Cayman.

Expansion of locations and services is the main reason behind the merger. "South Florida is a market we had identified to expand into," said Jeffrey M. Weiner, managing partner of Marcum and chairman and CEO of the Marcum Group. "Rachlin also does a couple of things we hadn't done before," including municipal government audit work and nonprofit services.

The two firms began talks last June. Weiner met Rachlin's managing partner, Lawrence Blum, through management consultant Jay Nisberg, who facilitated the merger. Blum will now become managing partner of MarcumRachlin, putting him in charge of the combined firm's southern region. Weiner plans to keep the existing staff in place there.

Rachlin has four offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and West Palm Beach. Marcum had $182.56 million in revenue in 2008, and Rachlin had $40 million. They ranked No. 20 and No. 76, respectively, on Accounting Today's 2009 list of the Top 100 Firms.


Washington, D.C. - The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

The plaintiffs, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Free Enterprise Fund and a small auditing firm, Beckstead & Watts, have lost in lower court decisions, although there was a 5-4 split among the justices on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The plaintiffs originally filed suit in 2006 after PCAOB audit inspectors faulted Beckstead & Watts in a 2004 report. The plaintiffs sued on the grounds that the way PCAOB members are appointed by the Securities and Exchange Commission violates the Constitution, which gives the president the power to make appointments with the consent of the Senate.

The plaintiffs contend that the PCAOB's interpretation of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has cost public companies more than $35 billion a year and proven especially burdensome to smaller public companies.

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