Davis Wright snaps up DC boutique in latest US merger

Seattle-headquartered Davis Wright Tremaine is to merge with Washington DC boutique Cole Raywid & Braverman, creating a 455-lawyer firm with nine offices.

Davis Wright’s acquisition of 35-strong technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) specialist Cole Raywid doubles the larger firm’s presence in DC, where it currently has 25 lawyers.

Davis Wright’s DC managing partner, Richard Cys, said the firm was looking to increase its overall presence and strength on the East Coast. In addition to its current DC presence, Davis Wright also has a 30-lawyer New York office.

The merged firm, which goes live on 1 January, will operate under the Davis Wright name. Last year Davis Wright’s turnover was £102.6m and its 187 equity partners earned an average profit of £207,000. Cole Raywid does not disclose its financial information, but it is understood that its average profit was broadly in line with Davis Wright’s.

Cole Raywid shares a number of clients with Davis Wright’s TMT team, including Discovery Communications and T-Mobile.

Davis Wright and Cole Raywid’s tie-up is the latest of a string of mergers in the US midmarket.

It follows that of another DC firm, Crowell & Moring, which two weeks ago announced it would acquire 20-lawyer litigation boutique King Pagano Harrison in order to push into the New York market.