Haynes and Boone, LLP and London-based Curtis Davis Garrard (“CDG”) are pleased to announce that they have agreed to merge and are seeking regulatory approval for a trans-Atlantic firm that would number over 600 lawyers and offer enhanced capabilities in global transactions and dispute resolution.
Haynes and Boone, which currently has 585 lawyers in 14 offices throughout the U.S. as well as in Mexico and China, had sought to open a London office to better serve its clients’ growing needs for English law advice on international business and litigation matters.
The merger underscores the firm’s belief that London’s preeminence as a commercial and financial center will not be impacted, long term, by the U.K. vote to exit the European Union.
“Our clients will continue to seek out accomplished London practitioners for English law advice on their global business transactions,” said Haynes and Boone Managing Partner Tim Powers. “In CDG, we found a supremely talented group of lawyers who will help us establish a premier London practice capable of providing a full range of services to companies in the industries we serve.”
The combination marks the latest expansion for Haynes and Boone, which last year opened offices in Chicago and Denver. “We have been able to prosper and grow steadily since our founding in 1970 by expanding in step with our clients,” Powers said. He added that the firm expects to focus on extending the London office, adding lawyers in the key practice areas of energy, private equity and financial services.
Brad Richards, who has nearly 25 years of experience at Haynes and Boone as a partner handling cross-border transactions, will relocate from Houston to London to help lead the integration and development of the London office.
Since its founding in 1996, CDG has built a reputation as one of the leading London firms serving the shipbuilding and offshore oil and gas industries. The firm has 20 lawyers and has continued to grow in recent years, expanding its work in Asia and South America in particular.
“We see distinct advantages for our clients in joining a full-service, U.S.-based law firm, particularly one with a robust energy practice and a strong Houston office,” said CDG’s Senior Partner Simon Curtis. “Haynes and Boone is an ideal fit, both in terms of its practice strengths and its like-minded culture. Happily for all of us, timing and opportunity aligned.”
Both firms, he added, originally contemplated the possibility of a leave vote in the recent U.K. referendum on EU membership but agreed at the outset that this would not alter the many strategic advantages of a merger. “Our clients’ business activities in the U.S., Asia, Latin America, Europe and beyond will not be adversely impacted by the vote,” Curtis said. “Further, both firms remain steadfast in believing that London will continue to be one of the world’s principal hubs for international business activity.”
While the partners of the respective firms have voted in favor of the merger, some regulatory steps remain. The firms have filed an application with the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the U.K. to approve the transaction. Once finalized, the joined firm will be called Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP in the U.K. and Haynes and Boone in the U.S. and other markets.