How can lawyers from different jurisdictions, sectors and backgrounds work together to deliver innovative solutions for clients facing complex global challenges? This is the question that drives the Transatlantic Lawyer Network (TLN), a programme that fosters cross-border collaboration and knowledge exchange among Womble Bond Dickinson's lawyers in the UK and the US.

The TLN, which was launched in 2019, is an initiative that selects a group of lawyers from both sides of the Atlantic to participate in a week-long programme of workshops, social events and networking. The programme aims to enhance the participants' understanding of the legal, cultural and business differences and similarities between the UK and the US, as well as to build strong relationships that help WBD enable its clients, big and small, to meet their ambitions, fulfil their potential and achieve sustainable growth.

"A programme like the TLN is really beneficial to our clients both in the UK and the US," explains Sarah Daun, partner in WBD UK's commercial team. 

"It provides a platform to share information, leverage knowledge and call upon our combined expertise, which gives us a really strong perspective and means we can offer a more holistic advisory service to our clients."

The theme of the 2024 edition of the TLN was the energy transition, a topic that is critical for the future of the planet and the economy. Whether it's advising on renewable energy projects, infrastructure development, environmental regulation or climate change litigation, WBD has the skills and experience to help clients achieve their goals in a rapidly changing world. The TLN not only enriches the professional and personal development of WBD's lawyers, but also the firm to deliver cutting-edge solutions for clients facing global challenges.

Lisa Rushton, US head of business litigation in the firm's US corporate team, said: 

"Energy transition affects all sectors. Some of the participants aren't necessarily working within the energy sector, or on energy projects, but their clients are still dealing with issues relating to the energy transition and being part of the TLN will helps us to understand and support our clients better."

The programme brought together five lawyers from the UK, five from the US and one from Redeker (Germany), WBD's strategic alliance partner, for an action-packed week in London, Newcastle and Teesside. The group heard presentations from experts in the Energy Transition cover topics like Hydrogen, Offshore Wind, Grid Connections and construction but also learning about wider issues influencing Energy Transition including cross-border challenges, geopolitics and green energy technology.

Peter Snaith, partner in WBD UK's commercial team and head of the firm's manufacturing sector, added: 

"Working together with the US makes us different. It is our USP. Certainly speaking from here in the North East and across the UK, so many businesses want to understand how we can help them to break into the US market. They don’t just want one service line, they want to know how we can introduce them to colleagues who can in turn help them in the US with new opportunities to grow their businesses.

“Lots of other firms have a UK/US presence but I don't hear about them working closely together. We want our teams to feel like they are one team and the TLN is the best building block to achieve that."