Womble Bond Dickinson: Tie-up creating new £340 million transatlantic law firm confirmed

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By Thomas Connelly on

Duo cement combination following successful ‘strategic alliance’

National law firm Bond Dickinson and US outfit Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice are set to combine to create a new transatlantic giant within the legal market.

Womble Bond Dickinson, boasting a combined revenue of £340 million, will have have over 1,000 lawyers across 23 offices. Headed up by 420 partners, the tie-up will officially go live this October, creating a top 20 outfit here in the United Kingdom and top 80 firm over in the United States.

Building on the duo’s successful year-long “strategic alliance”, Jonathan Blair, managing partner at Bond Dickinson, said:

We are delighted by this transformational development which would not have been possible without the support of our clients, the inherent cultural alignment between our firms and the enthusiasm of our people in driving the success of our exclusive strategic alliance with Womble Carlyle.

Legal Cheek’s Most List shows that Bond Dickinson — which offers around 30 training contracts annually across its eight offices — has a profit per equity partner (PEP) of £275,000. The firm scored As for training, quality of work, peer support, partner approachability and work/life balance in our 2016 Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, and its latest retention rate is 78%.

Across the pond, Womble Carlyle — the slightly larger of the two outfits with 15 offices — describes itself as a “full-service business law firm” with over 550 lawyers.

Commenting on the combination, Betty Temple, chair and chief executive officer of Womble Carlyle, said:

This exciting combination elevates our offering and proposition in the US to ensure we are consistently in tune with the evolving ambitions and needs of all our clients and that we can successfully execute on our growth strategy.

The deal follows a similar tie-up between UK-based international outfit Eversheds and US law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. With discussions first revealed back in December, the new law firm is now called Eversheds Sutherland and has 2,300 lawyers across 61 offices and 29 countries.

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