Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is the latest to dip into the dwindling partnership at Edwards Wildman Palmer’s London office as it has emerged that commercial litigation partner, Antonio Suarez-Martinez, is leaving the firm for the corporate’s legal team.
Currently co-chair of the firm’s pro bono committee, Suarez-Martinez trained at the firm, qualified into its commercial litigation team in 2002 and became a partner in 2011. Having previously advised anti-corruption NGOs including Transparency International, the disputes lawyer acts on large scale commercial disputes and civil fraud and has advised governments on issues including asset recovery (of the proceeds of corruption), international arbitration and public international law issues.
A host of partners led by commercial litigation partner Laurence Harris remain in long-drawn out negotiations with fellow US firm Cooley for its potential London launch. Meanwhile, Edwards Wildman announced plans to combine with Dallas-bred Locke Lord in early October and confirmed they had signed a letter of intent in mid-September to merge early next year, forming Locke Lord Edwards.
With Edwards Wildman partners said to be invited to Locke Lord’s upcoming retreat in April 2015, it is understood that the official vote has yet to take place but according to one partner it is a ‘done deal’ and the voting process is a ‘mere formality’.
Suarez-Martinez joins a growing list of defections since the summer with multiple partners leaving the Boston-headquartered firm, including Ben Goodger to Osborne Clarke, Niall McAlister to Olswang, Stuart Blythe to CMS Cameron McKenna, Shawn Atkinson to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and David Ramm to Morgan Lewis & Bockius.
More recently, Legal Business revealed that Simmons & Simmons had hired insurance partner Martin Lister, who established Edwards Wildman’s Hong Kong office in 2006. His departure follows IP partner Kenneth Choy who left for local firm Choy, Cheung & Co in August, and corporate partner John Lo who moved to CWL Partners, which operates in association with US firm Nixon Peabody and the mainland Chinese Hylands Law Firm, in June.