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August 15, 2011 7:36 PM

Edwards Angell to Merge with Wildman, Harrold

Posted by Tania Karas

Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon announced Monday that they will merge as of October 1 to create a 14-office, 650-lawyer firm known as Edwards Wildman Palmer. The announcement comes a little more than a month after The Am Law Daily reported that the firms had entered advanced merger talks.

Walter Reed, managing partner of Boston-based Edwards Angell, says that his firm was drawn to Wildman because of its presence in the growing Chicago and Los Angeles markets, as well as by what he called the likely synergies between the firms' clients, practices, and cultures. 

In the earlier joint statement confirming the merger talks, the firms cited Edwards Angell's expertise in corporate and IP matters as potentially meshing well with Wildman's strength in litigation, especially for private equity and venture capital clients.

"The Wildman practice is very complementary to ours," Reed says. "But their particular mix of practices is different from ours. So when you add them together you have a balanced portfolio of practices to offer clients."

Wildman managing partner Robert Shuftan, meanwhile, says the merger provides his firm with an "enhanced platform" to serve clients in three core areas: litigation, intellectual property, and financial transactions. In addition, says Shuftan, the combined firm will provide clients with "greater depth from a geographic standpoint and greater breadth in terms of the nature of our practice."

Reed will serve as the newly merged firm's managing partner, with Shuftan as deputy managing partner and chair of the firm's strategic planning committee.

Edwards Angell ranked ninety-second on the 2010 Am Law 100, up from ninety-fourth last year. The firm had gross revenue of $298 million in 2010, a 4.4 percent increase over the previous year; average profits per partner were $735,000.

Edwards Angell—which has offices in Boston; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Hartford; Madison, Wisconsin; New York; Newport Beach, California; Providence; Stamford, Connecticut; Washington, D.C.; West Palm Beach, Florida; and London—has been in growth mode lately.

The firm merged earlier this year with Fleischman and Harding, a 14-lawyer communications firm in Washington, D.C. Edwards Angell, which had 507 lawyers and 76 equity partners prior to the merger, also has an associated office in Hong Kong.

Wildman Harrold had 160 lawyers between its offices in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Management at both firms is now in talks with some partners about reassigments and relocations.

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