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Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and Locke Lord LLP Approve Merger

12/04/14

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and Locke Lord LLP Approve Merger


Partners from Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and Locke Lord LLP have approved a merger of the two law firms following a vote, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and Locke Lord LLP Approve Merger
In a statement emailed to The Boston Business Journal, a spokeswoman for Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP said, "Although we have done a lot of due diligence over the last few months, we just had the vote and are currently evaluating our needs. Now that the partnerships have approved the merger, we will begin the process of integrating the firms. Our goal, as it always has been, is to emerge from this merger as an even stronger firm with more depth and breadth, and to grow where it makes sense for us and our clients."

The firms reached an initial agreement back in September and the new firm will be known as Locke Lord Edwards LLP. It will employ close to 1,000 lawyers.

The new law firm will be led by Jerry Clements, who said that the letter of intent was a "preliminary outline of the proposed transaction."

Clements also said that the merger was not affected by the decision of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP to hire almost all of the lawyers from Bingham McCutchen back in November.

"We always intended to do a merger and really bring everyone on board," Clements said. "That was our structure and we never varied."

The managing partner of Edwards Wildman, Alan Levin, said that a group of intellectual property lawyers will leave Edwards Wildman due to a conflict with a client at Locke Lord.

Levin fell short of naming the client or the lawyers who will be leaving the firm to join Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo PC.

In a statement, Levin said, "Locke Lord Edwards will be in a stronger position nationally and globally to represent our clients' interests - and more aggressively compete for clients - across a broad spectrum of industries in an increasingly complex global marketplace," Levin said in a statement. "We are excited to bring our two firms together in this type of platform and excited for what the future holds not only for our lawyers but especially for our clients."

The merger is expected to be finished by January 10 and Clements does not expect any other conflicts or additional departures from the firm.

The two law firms have offices that overlap in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, London, Hong Kong and New York.

Levin said that the two firms are working to combine the lawyers in those cities. Clements will take over the role of chair and Levin will work as vice chair when the firm completes its merger.

"I enjoy being a lawyer and I will be able to practice law 80 percent of the time, which is better than the 20 percent that I currently practice," Levin said. "I feel very good turning the leadership over to Jerry."

Summary: Partners from Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP and Locke Lord LLP have approved a merger of the two law firms following a vote.

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