Edwards Wildman and Cooley: the Olswang connection

What a week it’s been for Edwards Wildman’s London office. It started with a bunch of partners allegedly threatening to walk out in a row over pay and fraternising with West Coast firm Cooley as it scouts out potential hires for its London launch. It ended with a senior venture capital partner jumping ship for Orrick.

Edwards Wildman and Cooley might initially seem a bit of a mismatched pairing. The former is best known in the City for insurance and litigation, the latter for its techy transactional focus. But this is one move that may have been brewing for more than a decade.

If you join the dots between Cooley and Edwards Wildman, they’re perhaps not such odd bedfellows after all. The latter firm’s London office was born of a merger between Kendall Freeman and Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge in 2007. Kendall Freeman originated from the insurance and litigation teams from defunct firm DJ Freeman in 2003. The property and media teams from that firm decamped to Olswang as part of the break-up.

Stay with us. In 2010 Olswang formed a non-exclusive alliance with … Cooley. Could Olswang’s lawyers have put in a good word for their old pals with its US buddies at Cooley? That’s certainly food for thought as we watch events between the US firms unfold.

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