London-based firm Kendall Freeman is to merge with Boston-based US firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, The Lawyer can exclusively reveal.
EAPD has strong footholds in antitrust work and intellectual property but for Kendall Freeman the enticement is the US firm’s class action and mass tort division.
Laurence Harris, the managing partner of Kendall Freeman, said: “With the UK market seemingly going towards class actions this gives us a good opportunity as the market here develops.”
The union effective from 1 January 2008, will see Kendall Freeman drop its name and rebadged as Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge (EAPD).
The 10-office US firm brought in revenues of $305m (£156m) last year and recorded average profit per equity partner of $740,000 (£378,000). Kendall Freeman’s 39 lawyers recorded a turnover of £15.3m.
Harris said both firms felt EAPD had a stronger brand in the insurance and reinsurance market than the London firm: “With our firm only having been known as Kendall Freeman for four years and with 70 per cent of our practice being in insurance and reinsurance it made sense to take of EAPD’s name. My firm’s brand for the first 18-months will run alongside EAPD to ensure a smooth transition.”
For EAPD the merger was a natural step after the two firms had been working so closely together for years.
Terrence Finn, the co-managing partner or EAPD, said the combined firm will provide added value to its clients in the financial sector, in particularly the insurance and re-insurance industries.
Kendall Freeman’s senior partner David Kendall will be taking up the post as co-chair of the merged firm’s insurance and reinsurance department, while Harris will serve as partner-in-charge of the firm’s London office. Both Kendall and Harris will join EAPD’s executive committee.
Kendall Freeman was formed in 2003 when 13 partners broke away from DJ Freeman to join Olswang.