Eight days before the United Kingdom’s voters cast ballots to leave the European Union, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP announced a strategic alliance with the U.K. law firm Bond Dickinson.
Their alliance, signed June 15, is believed to be one of the earliest, if not the first, of its kind between U.S. and U.K. law firms. It is surely timely and forward thinking, given that the U.K. is the largest single foreign investor in the United States and a major trade partner for U.S. companies. The hope is that it will also bring significant projects to both firms, something that already has happened, David Hamilton, managing partner of Womble Carlyle’s Baltimore office, said.
Brexit [as the move out of the E.U. is known] has been part of that: Since the vote, Bond Dickinson lawyers have been fielding questions on how the move out of the E.U. will affect laws on employment, immigration and land ownership, Hamilton said.
“The phenomenon of Brexit is going to produce unanticipated results, especially if the U.K. adopts different regulations for many industries,” Hamilton said
Womble Carlyle and Bond Dickinson (with more than 550 and 600 lawyers, respectively) both serve mid- to large- sized corporations and their client base mirrors each other. In fact, the two firms realized they already were working together for many of the same clients, Hamilton said.
And as allies, with less to reconcile than in a merger, the firms have been able to start working together faster for clients, he added.
Another goal of this union – to provide employees with professional development opportunities that expands their international experience and makes the two firms more globally competitive.