July 17, 2017
The partners of UK-based Bond Dickinson LLP and US-based Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP have voted to combine as equal members in a new entity under the name Womble Bond Dickinson. The agreement will champion the domestic and international ambitions of clients with a continued emphasis on local, regional and national legal services enhanced by extensive international capabilities and more integrated access than ever before.
Effective from October 2017, Womble Bond Dickinson will have more than 420 partners and 1000 lawyers across eight offices in the UK – two of which are based in Newcastle – and 15 offices in the US. The combination will put Womble Bond Dickinson in the UK’s top 20 and in the top 80 in the US listings with combined revenues in excess of US$410 million (£340 million).
The new entity will be a company limited by guarantee of which Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP and Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP will be the members, with each firm continuing to operate as a separate and autonomous partnership with its own independent management. Four members of each firm will be appointed to the board of the new entity. That board will be co-chaired by Betty Temple, chair and CEO of Womble Carlyle, and Jonathan Blair, managing partner of Bond Dickinson.
Commenting on the combination, Betty Temple said: “This exciting combination elevates our offering and proposition in the US to ensure we are consistently in tune with the evolving ambitions and needs of all our clients and that we can successfully execute on our growth strategy. While we maintain our steadfast commitment to local clients in all of our markets, the transatlantic foundation will create particular opportunities for further development and expansion in key hubs, such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Washington DC, and Silicon Valley, along with other US markets where we are building our footprint.
“Womble Bond Dickinson will be created right around the first anniversary of our Strategic Alliance with Bond Dickinson, which is testament to the dedication and hard work of our teams, and to the significant benefits yielded in a relatively short period of time. What was an innovative Strategic Alliance will now be a transatlantic challenger model focused on our key markets in the US and the UK.”
Jonathan Blair added: “We are delighted by this transformational development which would not have been possible without the support of our clients, the inherent cultural alignment between our firms and the enthusiasm of our people in driving the success of our exclusive Strategic Alliance with Womble Carlyle.
“The agreement creating Womble Bond Dickinson marks the achievement and culmination of our vision to be a Top 20 law firm by 2020. This combined firm enables us to provide an enviable transatlantic platform for further expansion and growth in the UK, where London remains a priority for investment, along with Edinburgh and other regional areas important to US and UK clients. Most importantly, we believe this new platform will better serve the needs of all our clients and provide the environment to retain and nurture the best talent in the business.”
Future investment is anticipated to bolster Womble Bond Dickinson’s practices in both countries, with additional international needs of clients to be met through established alliances and referral networks in target jurisdictions worldwide.
Womble Bond Dickinson