Legal Business Blogs

Planning to ‘make a big impact’: Cooley raids Edwards Wildman and MoFo’s City offices to launch in London

US firm Cooley has made its long-awaited entrance to the London legal market, taking partners from Morrison & Foerster and Edwards Wildman Palmer to create a 55-lawyer UK practice.

The office, the firm’s first in Europe, will be headed by Justin Stock, the former head of Morrison & Foerster’s London corporate practice, who is joined by corporate, technology and IP partners David Bresnick, Chris Coulter and Ed Lukins and Nicholas Bolter. 

They are joined by former Edwards Wildman litigators Laurence Harris and Kevin Perry and a five-partner reinsurance group led by David Kendall, Edwards Wildman’s former head of international insurance and reinsurance.

Cooley has taken on all of Edwards Wildman’s old office space at 69 Old Broad Street and carried out a complete refit. The building will house 20 partners across corporate, technology, IP, litigation, competition, insolvency, employment and privacy practices.

‘Cooley plans to make a big impact in London,’ said Joe Conroy, Cooley’s CEO. ‘We have brought together partners who are the very best in their fields, and who share our values and approach to achieving success for our global client base. From our San Francisco and Silicon Valley roots, we have grown to 850 lawyers, solving complex business and litigation issues for the world’s most dynamic companies.’

Stock added: ‘We have substantive strengths in areas essential to Cooley’s global client base. We are ready to build a thriving and successful UK-based practice together. We intend to take the momentum of this launch and continue to attract top legal talent with the same drive and spirit.’

The vice-chair of Cooley’s business department and partner in charge of its Washington DC office, Ryan Naftulin, will relocate to London. As a US liaison partner, his focus will be on office integration and building opportunistic growth for the firm.

Morrison & Foerster, which lost five partners to Cooley, is now understood to have eight partners left in the City plus managing partner for Europe Paul Friedman who is also based in San Francisco. Edwards Wildman, which completed its merger with fellow US firm Locke Lord over the weekend, would have been left with just two partners in London after a string of departures depleted the office prior to Cooley’s launch.

The full list of Cooley’s London partners comprises:

London Head

Justin Stock, head of corporate at Morrison & Foerster.

Partners – Corporate

David Bresnick, corporate partner at Morrison & Foerster with a focus on Eastern Europe and Turkey. Joined MoFo in October 2012 from CMS Cameron McKenna, where he headed the firm’s private equity group.

Ed Lukins, a corporate partner at Morrison & Foerster. Formerly a partner at Norton Rose and Simmons & Simmons.

Chris Coulter, a technology transactions partner at Morrison & Foerster specialising in software and digital content licensing rights.

Ann Bevitt, an employment and privacy partner at Morrison & Foerster for the past 12 years.

Jon Yorke, an insolvency partner at Edwards Wildman for the last three years.

Sarah Pearce, an IP partner at Edwards Wildman who joins Cooley’s technology transactions group.

Ryan Naftulin, US Liason partner at Cooley who relocates from Washington DC, where he was partner in charge. Naftulin, a Cooley lifer, is the vice chair of the firm’s business department. He joined the firm in 1998.


Nicholas Bolter, an IP partner at Edwards Wildman and former partner-in-charge of the London office.

David Kendall, former head of international insurance and reinsurance at Edwards Wildman, and who had been at the firm since 1988.

James Crabtree, an insurance and reinsurance partner at Edwards Wildman.

Mark Everiss, an insurance and reinsurance partner at Edwards Wildman.

Chris Finney, an insurance and reinsurance partner at Edwards Wildman.

Mark Deem, a litigation partner at Edwards Wildman.

Laurence Harris, a litigation partner at Edwards Wildman and former deputy managing partner.

Richard Hopley, an insurance and reinsurance partner at Edwards Wildman.

Akash Sachdeva, a qualified barrister and an IP partner at Edwards Wildman.

Kevin Perry, a litigation partner at Edwards Wildman and former co-chair of its litigation department.

Becket McGrath, a competition partner Edwards Wildman and former co-chair of its antitrust practice group.

James Maton, a litigation partner at Edwards Wildman.