Edwards & Angell, Palmer & Dodge Join Forces –

Edwards & Angell LLP and Palmer & Dodge LLP last month agreed to merge, thus further consolidating Boston’s business law community. The combined firm will feature approximately 520 attorneys, including 75 within its private equity and venture capital practice.

Terry Finn, managing partner of Edwards & Angell, said that casual talks began in February, with the conversations becoming more serious by May. “We are two firms that have known each other for a long time, and this made sense as a way for both of us to grow,” he explains.

Steve Meredith, an Edwards & Angell partner in Boston, added that the two firms are particularly complimentary in their private equity and venture capital practice: “On the private equity and VC side, Palmer & Dodge’s strong suit is in life sciences, which is probably our weak suit. However, we are very strong in life sciences IP, and actually acquired a very high-end life sciences IP firm several years ago that we’ve been waiting to capitalize on. This is a true synergy in all of the ways people speak of that word.”

Palmer & Dodge life sciences VC clients include MPM Capital, Fidelity Bioventures, Oxford Bioscience Partners and Ampersand Ventures. Most of those relationships involve transactional work, although the firm also does some fund formation activities.

Around 50 of the private equity and VC attorneys will come from Edwards & Angell, while the other 25 will come from Palmer & Dodge. The majority will be in the combined firm’s Boston headquarters, although others will work out of other offices on the East Coast and in London. Finn says that there are no current plans to open a West Coast satellite.

The merger is expected to close on or around Nov. 1.