Andrew Leaitherland, Managing Partner and CEO of DWF, said: "This is a significant move for us which greatly expands our reach in the US. DWF and WSHB already have a number of mutual clients and many more we consider mutual prospects. In particular, we both have strong insurance practices and already support some of the world's largest insurers. Through this association we will be able to seamlessly serve those clients by bringing our model of Complex, Managed and Connected Services to the world's largest market for both legal and insurance services.
"Our international strategy is client-led. We have opened offices or sought association partners where it makes sense strategically and where our clients operate and tell us they need our support. We have been considering our US growth strategy for some time, working to ensure that we found a partner that shares our values. We were particularly impressed by WSHB's commitment to invest in technology and a willingness to embrace innovation. They share our desire to transform the delivery of legal services."
The announcement follows a period of international expansion for DWF. In its last financial year it opened its first offices in Singapore, Italy and Qatar, added new offices in Australia and formed a strategic alliance in Turkey.
Daniel Berman, chairman and co-founder of Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman, said: "Since our formation in 1997 with one office and nine lawyers, our firm has achieved consistently strong organic growth. Our national platform now provides legal services in almost every state and in the past several years we have recorded double-digit growth of both revenue and lawyers. Partnering with DWF will enable us to move into the next phase of our development by not only tapping into an international network, but also by being able to access DWF's innovative Connected Services business. This will allow us to provide our clients with multidisciplinary teams across different professional and business services in an integrated way.
"Most importantly, since our beginning, WSHB has been a firm created and built on a truly special culture of innovation, teamwork and diversity. DWF shares these core tenets making this association a terrific fit for us."