Duane Morris seeks City suitor

Philadelphia-headquartered Duane Morris was putting on its top hat, tying up its white tie and brushing down its tails last week, hoping to impress the City’s glitterati in what might lead to the greatest transatlantic hook-up since Jones Day met Gouldens. (Or not.)

Bow-tied chairman Sheldon Bonovitz told The Lawyer he’d spent his days in London holding preliminary talks with a number of firms. He was light on details, revealing only that these firms would have some international capability and be transactional rather than litigation-heavy. He hopes eventually to add 200 lawyers to his eight-partner outpost in London.

That’s quite a wish-list. A quick glance at Duane Morris’s vital statistics (average profit per partner stands at £369,000) suggests that the 200 lawyers provided by a Stephenson Harwood or a Field Fisher Waterhouse could be out of reach. A more likely option might be Speechly Bircham.