Locke Lord and Edwards Wildman tie the knot in a $675m merger

After months of courtship, the future of Edwards Wildman is sealed. The firm’s partners voted in favour of a tie-up with Locke Lord worth $675m this week.

The two firms will become one on 10 January, creating a firm called Locke Lord Edwards with around 1,000 lawyers based in 23 offices all over the world.

Locke Lord’s current chair Jerry Clements will take on the top role at the merged firm, whereas Edwards Wildman partner Alan Levin will be the firm’s vice chair alongside fellow partner Daniel Schlessinger and Locke Lord’s Bill Swanstrom.

But Locke Lord’s negotiating powers may not be enough for partners to seal the deal with London partners.

Edwards Wildman London partners who got cold feet have been exiting the firm in the last few months. Among those to depart are all five of the office’s corporate partners. David Ramm exited for Morgan Lewis, Niall McAlister joined Olswang and Shawn Atkinson left for Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

The partners left in London may yet choose to run away with Cooley, which is understood to have been circling the firm’s office to gain a strategic foothold in the UK.

With City managing partner Nick Bolter understood to be among those involved in the Cooley deal, Locke Lord Edwards’ aims for London may not have a happy ending.

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