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October 22, 2009 5:07 PM

Ropes & Gray Goes To London

Posted by Brian Baxter

CLARIFICATIONS/UPDATES: Oct. 23, 4:15 p.m. A previous version of this post suggested that Ropes & Gray partners R. Newcomb Stillwell and David Chapin would permanently relocate to the firm's new London office. While they will travel there frequently, the two will still be based out of Boston. Oct. 26, 12:38 p.m. Ropes wasted no time in scoring some help for its London startup, recruiting high-yield partner Jonathan Bloom from White & Case, reports Legal Week.

The Yanks are coming!

Ropes & Gray is branching out across the pond with a four-lawyer office supplemented by two big lateral hires, Legal Week reports.

The Boston-based firm will launch its London tea party in January with private equity partners R. Newcomb Stillwell and David Chapin and former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer finance duo Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz.

Allen and Goetz quit Freshfields in August to pursue opportunities elsewhere. The two had joined the firm in March 2008 from White & Case, where they had spent the previous seven years.

"Ropes & Gray have been looking at London for some time and we have been very impressed with their business plan," Allen says. "Ultimately we need an environment where we can build a successful practice."

Both Allen and Goetz had left White & Case after tensions with firm management but their split with Freshfields was more amicable, Legal Week reports.

While Chapin and Stillwell will remain based out of Boston, the two will travel frequently from New England to Olde England to help ensure the new office's success. In 2007, The American Lawyer named Chapin one of its Dealmakers of the Year for his work on a controversial $26.7 billion buyout of Clear Channel Communications by two private equity firms. (After much wrangling, the deal was finally approved in July 2008.)

According to Am Law 100 financial data, Ropes had gross revenues of $797 million last year and profits per equity partner of $1.38 million.

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