Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has launched its Transatlantic Lawyer Network, an initiative designed to strengthen relationships and promote collaboration at all levels between UK and US offices.

The initiative is open to all solicitors in the UK with up to five years' experience from across the firm's business groups – in the UK these are Corporate & Commercial; Disputes & Litigation; Real Estate; and Private Wealth. A large number of applications were received for this year's intake, following which five lawyers from the UK and five lawyers from the US were selected to take part in the programme.

The Transatlantic Lawyer Network programme also includes exchange visits into the US and the UK with UK lawyers travelling to WBD's offices in Atlanta (Georgia) and Charlotte (North Carolina) in the week of 14 May and US lawyers returning the visit in September. 

Lawyers on the programme will be spending time networking and building relationships. The programme will explore business culture awareness, bolster understanding of the different jurisdictions and develop project management skills.

The WBD UK lawyers selected for the programme are: 

  • Catherine Willis (Leeds, Corporate & Commercial)
  • Todd Rayner (Newcastle, Corporate & Commercial)
  • Caroline Larson (Southampton, Dispute Resolution)
  • Jennifer Edwards (London, Real Estate)
  • Danjuma Mshelia (Bristol, Private Wealth).

The WBD US lawyers taking part are: 

The initiative was proposed by Aberdeen trainee solicitor Jamie Turley, who is also joining the programme for its first year. 

Jonathan Blair, WBD's Co-Chair and UK Managing Partner, commented:

"As part of our collaboration initiatives, we wanted to introduce a lawyer programme to further develop and strengthen our combined firm. This network will broaden interaction across our business groups and build more relationships between our US and UK teams."

"It was also really important to us that the Transatlantic Lawyer Network was made available to our more junior lawyers – who ultimately are the future of our firm – and through this programme, our UK lawyers will have a better understanding of how our transatlantic firm operates on the ground and will be able to help identify where we can bolster collaboration by sharing with us their experience and providing new perspectives and fresh ideas."