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RPC in talks with breakaway Edwards Wildman partners alongside Cooley and Foley & Lardner

RPC is in talks with a potential breakaway group of Edwards Wildman City partners – made up of corporate partners Niall McAlister, Eero Rautalahti, Stuart Blythe, and insurance and reinsurance partner David Kendall – alongside California-headquartered Cooley and top 55 Global 100 US firm Foley & Lardner.

The formerly five-strong splinter group is down to four after Shawn Atkinson, who served as co-chair of Edwards Wildman’s venture capital group, resigned last week to go to Orrick.

Located at Old Broad Street, the partners are understood to be unhappy over a lack of support from the US together with issues of ‘disconnection’ and pay.

A partner at the firm said: ‘Everybody has a different take on this. Everyone likes more money and more love from colleagues. That’s like any US firm in London and it’s very normal for a lower end AmLaw firm.’

The firm has denied claims that it is looking to sell off its London office and the partner added: ‘The firm will always have a London office but just different in size.’

The discussions follow a string of partner exits, most recently insurance & reinsurance partner Damian Connolly, who this month took up the position of chief legal officer for American managed healthcare company Aetna International. In early June, insurance heavyweight Francis Mackie started a new role at national firm Weightmans.

An ex-partner told Legal Business: ‘It’s the usual mixture of problems of a London office when it goes to the stage of being neglected. There are partners looking at their exit strategy if the talks don’t meet their expectations and satisfaction.’

Edwards Wildman and RPC declined to comment. Foley did not return requests for comment.