US seizes reins of Edwards Wildman’s London office as merger vote approaches

The biggest US firms are well and truly entrenched in the UK legal market, generating more than £2bn in revenue each year.

But one firm that appears to be decidedly more flaky about its City presence is Boston-based Edwards Wildman Palmer.

Its London outpost has had a turbulent time in recent months – with a raft of partners exiting for rival firms, and California-based tech giant Cooley thought to be making offers to many of those who have stuck around.

In the latest twist to the Edwards Wildman saga, it has emerged today that its London chief Nick Bolter has had his leadership role revoked by management on the other side of the pond.

It’s understood that the reins have been handed to the firm’s former managing partner Walter Reed, based in Rhode Island. Reed’s choice has come as a surprise to many, given his controversial resignation from his own management role in 2012 following a raft of juicy allegations.

Sources suggest that the recent move was a response to Bolter’s favourable stance on striking up a deal with Cooley, alongside a significant number of partners in Edwards Wildman’s London office.

As the firm’s partners worldwide deliberate on how to vote on its proposed merger with Locke Lord, the future of Edwards Wildman’s London office continues to pose questions of its own.

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