On Nov. 1, 2017, the transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson officially launched, formed by the combination of long-time U.S. firm Womble Carlyle and leading UK firm Bond Dickinson. This month, Womble Bond Dickinson celebrates the fifth anniversary of the combination, which has proven beneficial for clients, the firm, and team members on both sides of the Atlantic.
The successes of the combination include:
- Client Wins, with teams consisting of both UK and U.S. attorneys working collaboratively to help clients achieve business goals;
- Transatlantic Collaboration, with UK and U.S. team members sharing best practices, business intelligence and client development strategies. One element of this cooperation is WBD’s Transatlantic Lawyers Network, an initiative launched in 2018 and designed to strengthen relationships and promote collaboration at all levels between the UK and US.
- The two sides also collaborate on WBD’s annual Innovation Week which looks at innovative technology that is transforming the legal industry and other sectors, how businesses challenge themselves to develop more efficient processes and new ways of engaging with clients to embed a culture of innovation. The initiative provides an engaging platform for everyone across the UK and US to come together and listen, learn, debate and create, through a series of open invitation webinars, workshops, roundtable events and discussions.
- A Sector and Industry Focus. Even before the combination took effect, lawyers from Bond Dickinson and Womble Carlyle worked together to create a formal plan to organize the combined firm based on client sectors and industries. This focus gave WBD team members a common language to build the combined firm, and it puts the firm’s attention squarely where it should be—clients’ needs.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Team members on both sides of the Atlantic have a shared commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion not only in our firm, but in the communities we live in. UK and U.S. teams have worked together on a variety of programs aimed at helping promote these important goals.
WBD will share more details on these successes on the firm’s social media accounts throughout November.
The firm has experienced significant growth as a result of the combination as well. WBD consisted of 1,000 attorneys in 24 offices five years ago. Today, the firm includes more than 1,100 attorneys in 30 UK and U.S. offices, having added locations in such major markets as Houston, New York and San Francisco during that time.
Paul Stewart, UK Managing Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, said: “The success of our transatlantic combination is based on the deep-rooted cultural alignment between our UK and U.S. practices. Through our common values, a shared focus on sectors and industries and our shared commitment to delivering excellent client service and value, we have supported our clients to achieve their domestic and international goals. Celebrating five years as Womble Bond Dickinson is an important milestone - in that time we have learned a huge amount from each other and, in an increasingly competitive market, we look forward to building on our success as a combined firm.”
“When we formed Womble Bond Dickinson five years ago, we deeply believed that this transatlantic combination would benefit our clients, our firm and our people—and this has been the case,” said WBD (US) Chair and CEO Betty Temple. “The combination has given us a deeper bench across a wider range of practice areas. This, in turn, helps us better serve clients in an increasingly global marketplace. In addition, our transatlantic platform has helped us recruit and retain top talent.”