Chadbourne’s new chief scotches talk of UK merger

Chadbourne & Parke’s new managing partner Andrew Giaccia last week reaffirmed the US firm’s commitment to London, but ruled out the prospect of a UK merger.

Andy Giaccia
Andy Giaccia

Giaccia also distanced himself from his predecessor Charlie O’Neill’s aim of doubling the size of its City practice.

Giaccia, who became managing partner last week following an uncontested election, says that growing the firm’s corporate and litigation practices in London will be a key part of the firm’s strategy during his three-year term.

“We’re on the right path strategically,” ­Giaccia says. “We want to grow the corporate and litigation practices as a whole, but in ­particular in the London office. At the same time we want to strengthen in New York.”

He adds that Chadbourne has “a terrific profile” in emerging markets, claiming the firm is well-positioned to take advantage of important engines of global economic growth.
The firm will also continue to invest in its project finance capabilities and its burgeoning IP practice, says Giaccia.

In 2007 the firm was close to tying up with UK firm Watson Farley & Williams (WFW), but the talks collapsed after the firms were unable to reach agreement on several aspects of the proposed merger.

Giaccia dismisses the prospect of similar talks with another UK firm.

“I don’t think it would be a healthy strategy for the firm to say that growth has to come through a merger,” he says, adding that the WFW talks had been opportunistic and not “reflective of a general strategy”.

O’Neill said he wanted to double the size of the London office shortly after the merger talks ended, but Giaccia says putting a figure on the level of growth anticipated in its City office was “arbitrary”, adding that he was ­committed to “significant growth” of the ­London arm.

Before taking up the managing partner role on 1 December Giaccia was Chadbourne’s ­executive partner and managing partner of the Washington DC office. Replacements will be announced in the coming weeks.