Financial & Professional Services
As one of the global law firm's largest bases in the world, business was already booming for Eversheds in Cardiff before it formalised a new partnership with a major US firm to become Eversheds Sutherland last year. With a reputation for talent and the ability to support its clients wherever they are in the world, the firm's ambition to provide an exceptional global service meant the opportunity to increase their reach in North America was hugely exciting. For the 450-strong Cardiff team and their new transatlantic colleagues, the move has proved a seamless success.
"It has taken us from strength to strength," says Kathryn Roberts, who has been senior partner of the Cardiff office since 2014. "The Cardiff office was already doing a lot of US work before the partnership, but our success rate for winning clients together is phenomenal now. I think one of the concerns was cultural fit - we've all got impressions of what it might be like working with a US law firm. But the good thing is that it's very much a combination of businesses, rather than a takeover."
Eversheds Sutherland has a long history in Wales. Its origins come from Phillips and Buck, with whom Eversheds merged in 1989, and Roberts and her team take equal pride in guiding the group's "fantastic" Welsh clients and burgeoning international portfolio. Their location in the capital means they often welcome politicians through their doors: Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates has visited to discuss ways of nurturing international growth, and the newly-appointed US ambassador, Woody Johnson, called on Eversheds Sutherland during his visit to Wales.
"He was very interested in our story," says Roberts. "A group of businesses talked to him about how US and Welsh businesses can thrive together. We find it very helpful to engage with senior politicians at that level." They aim for a reciprocal relationship with Welsh Government, and will also host a major business event in the US as part of a productive network of US and Welsh trade collaborators. A visit to the US embassy in London could result in Eversheds Sutherland playing a part in the Independence Day celebrations in Wales this summer, and its work in the US includes advising on massive projects such as the $64 billion California High Speed Rail Program. In the UK, it is assisting Capita in an £888 million sale of its service division, and its international business groups range from India and Japan to Africa and Latin America.
"When you have international businesses like Tyco, Eaton, Barclays or HSBC, they don't want to have a separate law firm in each jurisdiction they work in," explains Roberts. "We can allow them to consolidate that by servicing from one firm, often with significant involvement from our Cardiff office. This is world-class international work that we provide from our capital city."