Legal Business

Can Cooley make good on its City ambitions?

Sarah Downey talks to chief executive Joe Conroy about its high-impact City launch

‘Eight years ago, I couldn’t get anyone to talk to me – I couldn’t even get my face slapped,’ says Cooley chief executive Joe Conroy on his attempts to establish a London presence for the Palo Alto-based leader.

It’s difficult to picture such a scenario now. Despite its late entrance in the UK, Cooley is undoubtedly a major force in the US, being well-established as one of the premier names in California’s legal technology community. After much speculation and one or two false dawns, largely due to long, drawn-out negotiations with prospective laterals, the firm announced in early January it would create a 55-lawyer UK practice, including a 15-strong partner team from Edwards Wildman’s beleaguered London office and a further five from Morrison & Foerster (MoFo).