American and transatlantic firms in the UK
As many US firms in London offer training contracts, students looking for a City firm with a transatlantic twist have plenty of choice. There are roughly 100 US and transatlantic firms with a presence in the UK. Around half offer training contracts – they offer roughly 700 between them. The table below can be used as a starting point for finding out more about firms that operate in the UK market, having originated in the States.
By looking at Chambers UK, Chambers USA, Chambers Europe, Chambers Asia-Pacific, Chambers Latin America and Chambers Global you can track each firm's performance across the various countries in which it works. Our sister publication Chambers Associate gives detailed analysis of firms' reputations in the US recruitment market.
The overview of firms below is split into two sections. The first part lists US firms that have opened up an office London and grown it from scratch, while the second part lists US firms that have entered the UK market via a merger with an established British firm. There are significant differences between the two types, which we detail below. Bear in mind that certain firms in the second category had their own office in London prior to merger (sometimes well established).
New London office openings by US firms in 2017/18 included Californian tech specialist Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Goodwin and Fried Frank launched training contracts after salvaging trainees from the wreckage of King & Wood Mallesons' European arm. Another transatlantic titan was formed in November 2017 when American Womble tied the knot with UK national firm Bond Dickinson, forming a 26 office global operation, Womble Bond Dickinson. Merger fever continued into 2018 as UK-based Berwin Leighton Paisner joined forces with American Bryan Cave; the two firms' existing London offices fused under the new name Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.
Remember, while many of the firms below happily embrace the term ‘US firm’, others do not describe themselves as such, preferring the term ‘international firm’. You’ll get a sense of what to call them from the terminology used on their websites or from the True Picture.
Firms in the table below which feature in the True Picture have their name highlighted in red. Click the link to find out more. If the firm features in Chambers Associate, you can click the link "Read about the firm in the US" to find out about its activities stateside. We endeavour to keep this as up to date as possible, based on the latest information we've received from firms.
Part 1: US firms in London
These are firms with American origins that have opened up a brand new office in London, usually with the hire of just one or two partners at first, and grown it from scratch. Some (like White & Case or Baker McKenzie) have been here for many years and are large and significant operations in their own right. Others (like McDermott or Vinson & Elkins) have chosen to remain small boutique operations, while yet more (like Locke Lord or Holland & Knight) only arrived on the scene recently.
Pros: Often smaller and more intimate; salaries tend to be higher to match New York market; no merger-related culture clashes.
Cons: The firm needs to break into the UK market and find a place in it, and it can take ages to build up the office (assuming management in the US even has the desire to do that).
|History in the the UK||Worldwide profile
|Size in UK||Main UK activities||Training contracts?|
|Akin Gump||London office of US firm. Opened 1997. Hired 44 lawyers from Bingham McCutchen in 2014.||Nearly 1,000 lawyers in this Texas-founded but Washington DC-headquartered firm. Ten US offices plus ten outside the US.||122 lawyers||Chambers UK-ranked for banking & finance, construction, energy and very finance-related areas. Ex-Bingham lawyers are chiefly finance/restructuring specialists.||Yes (6 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Arnold & Porter||Arnold & Porter's UK office opened in 1997. Merged with US firm Kaye Scholer in January 2017 which had a smaller London office since 2001.||Washington DC firm with 1,000 lawyers practising across eight other US offices plus London, Frankfurt and
|38 lawyers||Focus on IP, life sciences and tech deals, alongside arbitration, telecoms, competition and corporate. Kaye Scholer mostly did private equity M&A and insolvency.||Yes (2 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Baker McKenzie||London office of
multinational firm. Opened 1961.
|Headquartered in Chicago, but a massive global presence with 4,000+ lawyers across 77 worldwide offices.||530 lawyers||Full service.||Yes (33 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Baker Botts||London office of US firm. Opened 1998.||Texas firm with seven US offices plus others in London, Beijing, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Moscow and Riyadh. Around 725 lawyers worldwide.||36 lawyers||Energy specialists with growing dispute resolution abilities.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Boies, Schiller & Flexner||London office of US firm. Opened 2013.||New York firm founded by high-profile litigator David Boies. More than 300 lawyers across 14 US offices plus a base in London.||18 lawyers||Finance-related disputes.||No|
|Bracewell||London office of US firm. Opened 1995.||
Texas firm with 500 lawyers in eight US offices plus Dubai and London.
|31 lawyers||Focuses on energy sector – upstream finance, project development and finance and energy M&A.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Brown Rudnick||London office of US firm. Opened 1997.||Mid-size Boston-based firm with 250 lawyers scattered across six
US offices, London and Paris.
|54 lawyers||Full service with notable private equity, financial regulation and fraud practices.||Yes (4 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Buckley Sandler||London office of US firm. Opened 2014.||Small Washington DC firm with 160 lawyers; other offices include Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chicago.||1 US-qualified lawyer||White-collar crime and financial services litigation.||No|
|Butler Snow||London office of US firm. Opened 2013.||Mississippi-headquartered firm with a 23 US locations in addition to London, Hong Kong and Singapore.||4 US-qualified lawyers||Focused on tax.||No|
|London office of US firm. Opened 1997.||Wall Street firm founded in 1792, now with more than 350 lawyers, three US offices and outposts in Brussels and London.||54 lawyers||Handles capital markets, corporate/M&A, financial restructuring, global finance, litigation and tax matters.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Cahill Gordon & Reindel||London office of US firm. Opened 2000.||New York firm also in DC and London. Roughly 300 lawyers worldwide.||11 lawyers||High-yield debt specialists.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Clausen Miller PC||London office of US firm. Opened 2002.||Chicago-based firm with more than 100 lawyers in eight US offices, as well as London (and affiliates in Brussels, Düsseldorf, Paris and Rome).||4 lawyers||Mainly insurance/reinsurance litigation, with commercial litigation practice as well.||No|
|Cleary Gottlieb||London office of US firm. Opened 1971.||1,200 lawyers across two offices in America (NY and DC), two in South America, eight in Europe (some very long-standing), three in Asia and one in Abu Dhabi.||80 lawyers||Capital markets, finance, M&A, tax, competition, litigation/arbitration and IP.||Yes (10-15 pa)||Read about the firm in the US
|London office of US firm. Opened in 2013.||70 lawyers in NY, DC, San Fran and London.||12 lawyers||Art law and competition/antitrust||No|
|London office of US firm. Opened 1988.||1,000+ lawyers across five US offices plus Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, Seoul and Shanghai.||119 lawyers||Regulatory specialists alongside focusing on life sciences, technology and corporate finance.||Yes (up to 9 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Cozen O'Connor||London office of US firm. Opened 1998.||Philadelphia-based firm with 700 lawyers in 24 US offices, plus Toronto, Vancouver and London.||6 lawyers||Insurance and reinsurance coverage, subrogated recoveries and general commercial litigation.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|London office of US firm. Opened 1973.||500+ lawyers. Highly prestigious New York corporate firm with a London office.||40 US-qualified
|Corporate specialists.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Crowell & Moring||London office of US firm. Opened 1991.||Nearly 500 lawyers. DC firm with four more US offices plus London and Brussels.||14 lawyers||Cross-border M&A and litigation/arbitration related to energy, finance, insurance and competition.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Curtis||London office of US firm. Opened mid-1970s.||Around 300 lawyers. NY firm with three US offices, two in Latin America and 12 others in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.||18 lawyers||Finance, investment management, private equity, oil & gas, natural resources and international arbitration.||Yes (2 pa)||Read about the firm in the US
|Davis Polk||London office of US firm. Opened 1972.||Large, prestigious NY firm with two other US offices and a presence in Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, São Paulo and London.||68 lawyers||Capital markets and M&A; particular abilities in technology-slanted transactions.||Yes (4 pa)||Read about the firm in the US
|Debevoise & Plimpton||London office of US firm. Opened 1989.||Elite NY firm with around 700 lawyers in NY, DC, London, Paris, Moscow, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Hong Kong.||126 lawyers||Cross-border acquisitions, international arbitration, private equity, banking and finance, tax, insurance, construction, dispute resolution.||Yes (9 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Dorsey & Whitney||London office of US firm. Opened 1986.||Minneapolis-based firm with nearly 500 lawyers across 14 offices in
the US and six offices in Canada, Asia and the UK.
|21 lawyers||Full service. Chambers UK-ranked for AIM capital markets and lower mid-market M&A work.||Yes (2 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Drinker Biddle & Reath||London office of US firm. Opened in 2012.||600 lawyers. Headquartered in Philadelphia with ten other US offices.||5 US-qualified lawyers||Commercial insurance.||No|
|Duane Morris||London office of US firm. Opened 2000.||Philadelphia-based firm with more than 750 lawyers across 21 US offices plus bases across Asia, the Middle East and Europe.||14 lawyers||Full service.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Faegre Baker Daniels||London office opened in
1985 and boosted in 2003 by merger with UK firm Hobson Audley.
|750-lawyer firm, the result of a 2012 merger between Minneapolis' Faegre & Benson and Indiana's Baker & Daniels. ten US offices, as well as Beijing, Shanghai and London.||28 lawyers||Corporate finance, M&A, business litigation, finance and restructuring, commerce and technology, IP, employment and real estate.||Yes (2 pa)|
|Finnegan||London office of US firm. Opened 2013.||DC-based IP firm with five US offices and outposts in Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Taipei, plus London. More than 350 lawyers.||7 lawyers||European patent work.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Fragomen LLP||London office of US firm. Opened in London 2003. Has a strategic alliance with PwC.||1,000-strong specialist immigration. Went international in 1999 and has 16 offices in the US plus more than 25 across Europe, Asia, South America, Australasia, the Middle East and Africa.||70 lawyers (+5 in Sheffield)||Immigration only.||No|
|Fried Frank||London office of US firm. Opened 1970.||NY corporate firm also in DC, Frankfurt, Paris and London with 450 lawyers worldwide.||80 lawyers||Funds, M&A, private equity, finance, litigation, tax, competition and restructuring.||Yes (3 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Gibson Dunn||London office of US firm. Opened 1979.||Five Californian offices and five others in the US; also in five European offices including London, three in Asia, Dubai and Sao Paulo. More than 1,200 lawyers worldwide.||92 lawyers||Full service with a focus on corporate and finance.||Yes (6-7 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Goldberg Segalla||London office of US firm. Opened in 2012.||Founded in 2001. More than 300 lawyers. 21 US offices, seven of which in New York state.||No lawyers permanently based in London||Commercial insurance disputes.||No|
|Goodwin||Formerly London office of collapsed firm Heller Ehrman; joined Goodwin Procter in 2008. 26 lawyers, including 5 trainees, joined from KWM in 2017.||Boston-headquartered firm with nearly 1,000 lawyers in six US offices plus London, Paris, Frankfurt and Hong Kong.||122 lawyers||Real estate, private equity, investment funds, M&A and tax.||Yes (8-10 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Greenberg Traurig Maher||London office of US firm. Paul Maher, previously global vice chairman at Mayer Brown, launched the office in 2009.||1,900 lawyers and 38 offices offices worldwide, 29 in the US. Known in the US for being highly entrepreneurial and giving its partners ('shareholders' in Greenberg-speak) lots of freedom to manage their own affairs.||60+ lawyers||Focus on M&A, capital markets and real estate work.||Yes (4 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Holland & Knight
||London office of US firm. Opened 2016.||25 offices in the US, plus Mexico City, Bogotá and London.||9 lawyers||Aviation and shipping.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Hunton Andrews Kurth||London office of US firm formed from merger of Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth in 2018. Both had a small London office.||Based in Houston, Texas with two offices there; others include 16 more in the US and several in Europe and Asia.||20 lawyers||Chambers UK-ranked for data protection law; other focuses include energy, projects and international arbitration.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Husch Blackwell||London office of US firm.||Missouri-based with 600 lawyers and 19 offices. London is the only one outside the US.||No lawyers permanently based in London||Corporate/M&A, securities and litigation.||No|
|Jenner & Block||London office of US firm. Opened 2015.||500+ lawyer Chicago-based firm with offices in LA, NY, DC and London.||17 lawyers||White-collar, commercial litigation and arbitration.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Katten Muchin Rosenman||London office of US firm. Opened 2005.||Chicago-headquartered firm with 600 attorneys in 11 US offices plus London and Shanghai.||37 lawyers||Financial services: investment funds, regulatory, corporate, banking and real estate finance.||Yes (2 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|King & Spalding||London office of US firm. Opened 2003.||Over 850 lawyers work in the Atlanta HQ and 19 other offices in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.||48 lawyers||Energy, project finance, M&A, private equity, international arbitration and Islamic finance.||Yes (2 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Kirkland & Ellis||London office of US firm. Opened 1994.||Approx 1,900 lawyers in the Chicago HQ plus eight more US offices, London, Munich, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.||340 lawyers||Best known for finance; lots of the clients are private equity houses. Corporate, banking, investment funds and international arbitration are the main seat options.||Yes (10 pa)||Read about the firm in the US
|Kobre & Kim||London office of US firm. Opened 2009.||About 110 lawyers across ten offices: NY, DC, Miami, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, the Caymans, BVI and London.||18 lawyers (inc. barristers)||All-litigation firm devoted entirely to disputes and investigations.||No|
|Ladas & Parry||London office of US intellectual property firm. Opened 1969.||52 lawyers across NY, Chicago, LA, DC, London and Munich.||4 lawyers||IP specialists.||No|
|Latham & Watkins||London office of US firm. Opened 1990.||Around 2,100 lawyers in 31 offices: 11 in the US, 12 in Europe, six in Asia and two in the Middle East.||480 lawyers||Full service.||Yes (24 pa)||Read about the firm in the US
|Lewis Baach||Small London outpost.||Four offices with 37 lawyers: Washington DC, New York,
London and Buenos Aires
|No lawyers permanently based in London||Litigation boutique.||No|
|Locke Lord||London office of US firm. Opened in 2012 with nine lateral hires from Salans.||Texas-based firm with more than 600 lawyers in 18 US offices plus Hong Kong and London.||28 lawyers||Corporate and commercial. Strengths include insolvency, financial services and consumer finance.||Yes (2 pa)|
|London office of US firm. Opened 1998.||Around 1,000 lawyers in 11 US and seven European offices, as
well as Seoul and an alliance firm
|64 lawyers||Private client and corporate specialisms.||No (recently ended trainee recruitment)|
|Milbank||London office of US firm. Opened 1979.||Wall Street firm with around 700 lawyers in three US offices, two in Europe, five in Asia and São Paulo.||115 lawyers||Corporate, finance, energy and litigation. Band-one ranked in Chambers UK for projects, aviation finance, mining and outsourcing.||Yes (4-5 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo||London office of US firm.||Boston-headquartered; 500 lawyers in seven US offices and London. A liaison office in Israel.||1 full-time UK lawyer||Risk management and life sciences.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Morgan Lewis||London office of US firm. Opened 1981. Expanded with 18 lawyers from defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2012.||Almost 2,000 lawyers in 30 offices in the US, Asia and Europe. Headquartered in Philadelphia.||98 lawyers||Banking, finance, corporate, employment, tax, competition and litigation.||Yes (6 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|London office of US firm. Opened 1980.||Over 1,000 lawyers in eight US
and five Asian cities plus London, Berlin and Brussels.
|83 lawyers||Full service, but London has strong transactional focus on financial services, life sciences and technology.||Yes (7 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Morrison Mahoney||London office of US firm.||Ten US offices on the East Coast plus London. About 200 lawyers.||5 lawyers||Litigation. US law only.||No|
|Nixon Peabody||London office of US firm. Opened 2007.||13 US offices plus London, Hong Kong. Singapore and Shanghai.||2 lawyers||Private client. US law only.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|O'Melveny||London office of US firm. Opened 1986.||West Coast firm with seven US offices, six in Asia, plus London and Brussels. 700 lawyers worldwide.||25 lawyers||Transactional and litigation capabilities, but finance and private equity are the drivers.||Yes (4 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe||London office of US firm. Acquired London office of Coudert Bros in 2005.||1,300 lawyers in 26 offices worldwide.||84 lawyers||Full service.||Yes (6 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Paul Hastings||London office of US firm. Opened 1997.||Around 950 lawyers in 22 offices; 11 in the US, five in Europe and five in Asia and São Paulo.||100 lawyers||Strongest in real estate finance and capital markets.||Yes (7-8 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|London office of US firm.||New York litigation powerhouse with a presence in DC, Wilmington, Toronto, London and three Asian offices. 800+ lawyers globally.||21 lawyers||US law only. Chiefly corporate M&A, private equity, capital markets.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman||London office of US firm. Opened 1972.||16 US offices, as well as outposts in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Taipei and London. 700 lawyers.||40 lawyers||Corporate and commercial; big on global sourcing and IT.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Proskauer Rose||London office of US firm. Opened 2007.||NY firm with 750+ lawyers in 13 offices: eight branches in America, plus Beijing, Hong Kong, Paris, Sao Paulo and London.||83 lawyers||Corporate & finance. Concentrates on private equity.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan||London office of US firm. Opened 2008.||800-lawyer California firm with nine US offices and eight in Europe plus Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Perth and Sydney.||58 lawyers||Litigation-only firm, with particular specialism in cases against financial institutions.||No|
|Richards Kibbe & Orbe||London office of US firm.||58 lawyers in New York, DC and London.||5 lawyers||Corporate and finance.||No|
|Ropes & Gray||London office of US firm. Opened in 2010 and has grown massively since.||1,200-lawyer Boston-headquartered firm. Six US offices, plus London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul.||109 lawyers||Focus on banking, finance and private equity.||Yes (7 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Schulte Roth & Zabel||London office of US firm.||A 330-lawyer New York firm with
a presence in DC and London.
|16 lawyers||Mostly investment management.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Scott & Scott||London outpost of US firm. Opened 2015.||72 lawyers across New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Los Angeles, Omaha, Connecticut and London.||7 lawyers||Competition enforcement litigation.||No|
|Seyfarth Shaw||London office of US firm. Opened in 2011.||850+ lawyers in ten US offices as well as London, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Employment and immigration experts.||8 lawyers||Employment only.||No|
|London office of US firm. Opened 1972.||800 lawyers in 22 offices worldwide – eight in the Americas, six in Europe, five in Asia and
three in the Gulf states.
|122 lawyers||Full service; especially strong in finance.||Yes (15 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Shook, Hardy & Bacon||London office of US firm. Opened 1989.||Nearly 500 lawyers in 11 US offices plus London.||7 lawyers||Litigation, mostly product liability.||No|
|Sidley Austin||London office of US firm. Opened 1974.||Nearly 2,000 lawyers worldwide; ten offices in the US, six in Asia Pacific, four in Europe.||142 lawyers||Mostly transactional, geared towards finance matters.||Yes (12-14 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Simpson Thacher & Bartlett||London office of US firm. Opened 1978.||New York private equity powerhouse with offices in DC,
LA, Palo Alto and Houston plus
São Paulo, London,and four in Asia. 900 lawyers worldwide.
|87 lawyers||Mainly finance, corporate, capital markets.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Skadden||London office of US firm. Opened 1988.||Around 1,700 lawyers across
eight US offices and 14 others worldwide.
|115 lawyers||Full service; strongest on corporate in London. Chambers UK band-one ranked for international arbitration.||Yes (12 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Smith Gambrell & Russell||London office of US firm. Opened 2017.||Full-service 220-lawyer Atlanta-headquartered firm with five
other US offices plus London, Southampton and Munich.
|5 lawyers||Aviation finance.||No|
|Steptoe & Johnson||London office of US firm. Opened 2001.||500+ lawyers in six US offices plus London, Brussels and Beijing.||39 lawyers||Property, corporate, private equity, insurance, international disputes, white-collar crime.||No|
|London office of US firm. Opened 1972.||Blue-chip New York firm with three other US offices, three in Asia, two in Australia and four in Europe. 875+ lawyers.||72 lawyers||Mainly transactional, best known for capital markets, corporate, energy and projects work.||Yes (4-6 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Sullivan & Worcester||London office of US firm. Opened 2013.||Bostonians. 168 lawyers across offices in Boston, New York, DC and London.||11 lawyers||Trade and export finance.||No|
|Thompson & Knight||London office of US firm. Opened 2005.||300+ lawyers. Originally from Texas and energy-focused. Six US offices as well as two in Mexico plus Paris, Algiers and London.||2 lawyers||Finance and energy.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Vedder Price||London office of US firm. Opened 2011.||300 lawyers in Chicago and four other US cities plus offices in London and Singapore.||17 lawyers||Corporate and transport finance.||No||Read about the firms in the US|
|Vinson & Elkins||London office of US firm. Opened 1971.||Texas firm with seven US offices, four in Asia-Pacific plus Moscow, Riyadh, Dubai and London. 600+ lawyers.||61 lawyers||Especially strong in energy and projects matters.||Yes (5 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Weil, Gotshal & Manges||London office of US firm. Opened 1996.||1,100 lawyers in eight US offices, six in Europe and three in Asia.||169 lawyers||Full service, especially good in private equity.||Yes (10-15 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|White & Case||London office of US firm. Opened 1971.||Approx 2,200 lawyers in 44
|316 lawyers||Full service; heavy on projects, corporate and finance.||Yes (50 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Willkie Farr & Gallagher||London office of US firm. Opened 1988. Also have a strategic alliance with UK firm Dickson Minto.||New York and Washington DC plus six European offices. 700 lawyers.||55 lawyers||Primarily corporate advice on international finance, cross-border M&A and private equity.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|WilmerHale||Formed by merger of two US firms in 2004, one of which had been in London since 1972.||900+ lawyers in seven US cities, four in Europe plus Beijing.||49 lawyers||Focus on international arbitration, white-collar crime, regulatory and IP work.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati||London office of US firm. Opened 2018.||California-based with 750+ lawyers. 11 offices in the US,
three in Asia, Brussels and London.
|1 US-qualified lawyers||Corporate, tech and life sciences.||No||Read about the firm in the US|
|Winston & Strawn||London office of US firm. Opened 2003.||Chicago-based with nine US offices, four in Europe and two in Asia plus Dubai. 900+ lawyers.||34 lawyers||Cross-border transactions and disputes, as well as IP, energy and competition.||Yes (2 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
Part 2: Firms created through transatlantic mergers
These can be either a large firm taking on a smaller one specifically to gain a London office (as with McGuireWoods' absorption of Grundberg Mocatta Rakison), or two of a similar size combining to form a larger one, with better global coverage the goal (as with the Hogan Lovells or Dentons tie-ups)
Pros: New firm has ready-made UK client base and established reputation; culture of legacy English firm usually remains post-merger.
Cons: Mergers can breed ill-feeling due to unforeseen culture clashes or if US headquarters starts to dictate to London office from afar.
|Merger history||Worldwide profile
|Size in the UK||Main UK activities||Training contracts?|
|English City firm Berwin Leighton Paisner merged with US firm Bryan Cave, which had a 40-lawyer London office and 4 trainees.||1,500 lawyers in 35 offices across the US, Europe, Africa and Asia.||498 lawyers||Full service. BLP was known as the top property firm in the City, and this is still a core strength.||Yes (35 pa)|
||Office part of Edwards Wildman Palmer prior to prior to January 2015. That firm merged with London's Kendall Freeman in 2008.||Silicon Valley headquartered firm with 10 US offices as well as Beijing, Shanghai and London. Nearly 900 lawyers worldwide.||91 lawyers||Litigation, insurance, corporate, IP, technology and employment.||Yes
|Read about the firm in the US|
Long-standing English firm Titmuss Sainer merged with a Philadelphia-based outfit in 2000.
900+ lawyers working from 27 offices across the US, Europe and Asia.
|147 lawyers||Full service.||
Yes (10 pa)
|Read about the firm in the US|
|Dentons||Result of five major global mergers since 2010. Dentons Wilde Sapte was the City arm.||World's biggest firm by headcount. 7,000+ lawyers in more than 125 locations across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, China, Africa and Australia.||562 lawyers in London, Watford and Milton Keynes||Full service.||Yes (42 pa)|
|DLA Piper||Well-established UK national DLA merged with American Piper Rudnick in 2005.||4,300 lawyers located across 85+ offices worldwide.||844 lawyers across the UK||Full service.||Yes (up to 70 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Eversheds Sutherland||UK firm Eversheds merged with Americans Sutherland in 2017. Sutherland had a 10-lawyer London office since 2014 after merger with Arbis LLP.||2,300 lawyers worldwide in 66 offices.||1,223 lawyers across the UK||Full service.||Yes (50 pa)|
|Hogan Lovells||US firm Hogan & Hartson merged with major City player Lovells in 2010.||Over 2,500 lawyers in 47 offices worldwide.||548 lawyers (London and Birmingham)||Full service.||Yes (up to 50 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Jones Day||Merger between Jones Day (which already had a London office) and UK firm Gouldens in 2003.||2,500 lawyers in 43 offices worldwide.||150 lawyers||Full service.||Yes (15-20 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|K&L Gates||Merger between US firm Kilpatrick & Lockhart and UK firm Nicholson Graham & Jones in 2005 (followed by 2007 merger with US firm Preston Gates & Ellis).||2,000+ lawyers across 46 offices worldwide.||105 lawyers||Full service.||Yes (number TBD)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Mayer Brown||Merger between US firm Mayer, Brown & Platt and London mid-sizer Rowe
& Maw in 2002.
|More than 1,600 lawyers across 26 offices worldwide (including an alliance in Brazil). Asia presence bolstered by merger with JSM in 2008.||227 lawyers||Full service.||Yes (15 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|McGuireWoods||Small 2009 merger between US firm McGuire Woods and London firm Grundberg Mocatta Rakison.||Based in Virginia with 1,100 lawyers in 22 offices: 20 in the US plus London, Brussels and an alliance in Shanghai.||28 lawyers||Full service.||Yes (1 pa)|
|Norton Rose Fulbright||Merger between US firm Fulbright & Jaworski and London-founded Norton Rose in June 2013||Approx 3,500 lawyers in over 55+ offices worldwide.||506 lawyers||Full service.||Yes
(up to 45 pa)
|Read about the firm in the US|
|Reed Smith||Small UK firm Warner Cranston merged with US firm Reed Smith in 2001. In 2007 Reed Smith merged with UK mid-sized firm Richards Butler.||Approx 1,700 lawyers in 26 offices.||321 lawyers||Full service, including niches like shipping and media.||Yes (25 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|UK firm Hammonds and US firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey merged in 2011. Merged with DC firm Patton Boggs in 2014.||47 offices across 20 countries containing over 1,500 lawyers worldwide.||416 lawyers across the UK||Full service.||Yes (23 pa)||Read about the firm in the US|
|Womble Bond Dickinson||National firm Bond Dickinson (itself a merger of Newcastle and Bristol firms) combined with North Carolinian Womble Carlyle in 2017.||1,100 lawyers in 18 US and eight UK locations.||647 lawyers across the UK||Full service.||Yes
(up to 25 pa)
|Read about the firm in the US|