Ropes changes as Edwards Wildman is Rammed

They are two of the biggest beasts in the legal jungle, and historically a story about Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz – the dynamic duo with the elephantine reputation who quit Freshfields a year after quitting White & Case to launch Ropes & Gray’s London office – has meant a major move and a new start.

This time it’s the latter sans the former. For the first time since founding Ropes’ City office in 2009 with a total of four lawyers – it now has around 80 – the pair are redefining their roles. Goetz is to become London managing partner while Allen takes on the role of senior partner.

The move reflects the dramatic expansion of Ropes’ London office as well as the US firm’s need to build bridges in Europe, without stumping up for an office network. This relationship building is where Allen comes in. As Ropes’ managing partner David Chapin puts it, Allen’s new role as senior partner will involve him helping the firm, “think much more strategically” about Europe. Goetz, meanwhile, will be handling the nitty gritty stuff back at the ranch. Well, someone has to.

In other US-related news the losses at Edwards Wildman’s London office, which continues to be the focus of rumours that it is in serious talks with Cooley, keep coming. Just a few weeks after private equity partner Shawn Atkinson quit for Orrick, corporate head David Ramm has resigned in favour of Morgan Lewis.

As one wag on put it, it looks like a “Ramm raid”.

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