Boston firm teams up with asset manager

A US law firm has merged its money-management practice with an investment firm to form what it believes is the first partnership of its kind.

Bingham Dana – a Boston-based 400-lawyer firm with offices in London, New York, Washington, Hartford, Los Angeles and Singapore – has joined forces with Legg Mason to form Bingham Legg Advisors (BLA).

Legg Mason handles more than $93bn for institutions, wealthy individuals and mutual funds and the new joint venture will start life with $1.3bn under management.

Peter Simmons, the former director of Bingham Dana's fiduciary services group unit and president of the BLA believes this is the first time that a law firm has joined up with an asset management firm.

He says: “When we first had the idea to form BLA we went looking for a similar body but were unable to find any template from which to work from. This is one of the reasons why the transaction was so time-consuming.

“We don't know if we are pioneers but in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we're going to act as such.”

BLA will operate from a Boston office, which will initially service all national and international clients, although demand may require further expansion.