Womble Bond Dickinson expands US platform with San Francisco tie-up

Merger with Cooper White & Cooper pushes Anglo-US firm's California network past 50 lawyers

Chris Mammen (l) and Jed Solomon

Womble Bond Dickinson is set to launch in San Francisco through a tie-up with regional firm Cooper White & Cooper. 

The move adds 17 lawyers including 11 partners to Womble Bond’s California network, which currently consists of offices in Los Angeles, Palo Alto and Irvine, and will bring the firm’s lawyer headcount in the state to more than 50. 

Effective 1 September, the combination will see Womble Bond IP litigation partners Chris Mammen, Steve Levitan and Carrie Richey join the Cooper White team in San Francisco. 

Mammen, who will serve as office managing partner, is currently based in Silicon Valley where he practices with Richey and Levitan and leads the firm’s IP litigation team.

Both Mammen and Levitan used to work at Hogan Lovells before they left in 2019 and 2021 respectively. Richey also joined up in 2019 when she moved across from Carle Mackie Power and Ross, where she was an associate. 

CEO and firm chair Betty Temple said: “[California] – and indeed the entire West Coast – is strategically important to Womble, and we are thrilled to anchor our presence in the market through a firm that is well-known for its robust litigation and transactional skills.”

Jed Solomon, a partner at Cooper White, said his firm has been “impressed by Womble’s transatlantic platform and stellar reputation for advising companies on complex, high-stakes issues”. 

“Combined with our cultural compatibility and shared commitment to exceptional client service, this was an ideal opportunity to expand our services to our collective client base,” he added. 

Founded in 1896, Cooper White provides litigation and transactional services across sectors including energy, financial services, media and telecom, infrastructure, healthcare, IP, real estate, retail and technology. 

The firm is based in San Francisco but also has an office in Walnut Creek and said it would continue to serve clients from that office.

The San Francisco launch follows Womble Bond opening in Nashville last month and hiring a five-lawyer team from intellectual property boutique Abelman Frayne & Schwab in April to plant its flag in New York. 

Womble Bond was formed in 2017 when UK firm Bond Dickinson merged with US outfit Womble Carlyle and now has a global platform of more than 1,000 lawyers in 29 offices across the UK and US. 

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