Edwards Wildman corporate partners threaten to walk over compensation

Edwards Wildman Palmer is in the midst of “ongoing dialogue” with five of its London-based corporate partners as they threaten to quit over pay. 

According to sources the group of corporate partners have argued that they should be compensated in a different way to some of their colleagues, apparently due to the success of the London-based corporate team.

The anonymous five have been in talks with a number of firms in recent months, one thought to include the London office of Squire Patton Boggs.

If they all resigned from the firm it would leave Edwards Wildman’s 25-partner London office with just two corporate partners.

London managing partner Nick Bolter told The Lawyer corporate and transactional work is a crucial part of the firm’s offering. He is now talking to partners in a bid to make them stay, but is not expecting to change the office’s compensation structure in order to suit their concerns. 

“There have been two rumours circulating,” a spokesperson for the firm said. “One rumour is that our firm has been trying to sell its London office.  Another is that our London office is intending to decamp as a group for another firm. Both of those rumours are completely false. 

“What is true is that it is likely that a few partners in our London office may cease to be a part of our firm between now and the end of the year.  While certain of these departures may be regrettable, others are largely the result of the firm concluding that there is simply not a good practice fit. 

“In order to expand and deepen our core practices, the firm has developed a strong global platform with 16 offices on three continents. London is obviously an extremely important part of that platform, and we are completely committed to growing the office consistent with our core service offerings.”  

Although the firm said it has had a strong year in London, the office’s support staff were hit by a redundancy round a year ago (3 July 2013). 

This week Weightmans announced that it had hired veteran insurance partner Francis Mackie from Edwards Wildman (16 June 2014).

Edwards Wildman was formed on 1 October 2011 by the merger of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and 150-lawyer Chicago firm Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon (15 August 2011). In 2012, the firm posted its first post-merger financial results, revealing an 18 per cent increase in total revenue from $297.9m to $352.7m in 2011.