Legal Business

Under the Weather


When US outfit Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe entered the London market in 1998, chairman Ralph Baxter had a dream of competing on the global stage.

But 13 years on, that dream looks to be souring. LB investigates what is going wrong.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe was once seen as one of the most successful and promising US firms resident in London. Achieving rapid growth and performing well financially, it seemed that nothing could go wrong. But a string of departures since the start of 2010 and a lack of strategic direction has left many asking if chairman Ralph Baxter’s sheen has come off. Added to the mix is the reputational damage done by its involvement in at least two very public and ultimately failed merger talks with SJ Berwin and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Orrick does not look like the unmitigated success story it purports to be.