Letter to Clients and Friends Regarding Combination with Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP

Letter to Clients and Friends Regarding Combination with Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP


Dear Clients and Friends:

I have the great pleasure of announcing that Hale and Dorr LLP will be combining with the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP.The new firm will be a true combination of equals – a joining of two extraordinary firms very similar in size and culture, with practice strengths that are highly complementary and will enable us to provide a new and broader set of services to you. Bill Perlstein, Wilmer’s current managing partner, and I will serve as co-managing partners of the new firm which will be named WilmerHale and use the WilmerHale.com domain name and email address.

Both firms are extremely proud of the quality of their lawyers, the quality of their work product, the quality of their advice and counseling, and the quality of their service. You can expect from the new firm the same focus, the same high quality service and the same team that you have come to know.

The merger is the first combination of two law firms on The American Lawyer’s "A List" of the 20 elite firms in the United States, a list based not only on financial performance but also on associate training and development, pro bono service and workforce diversity – qualities that indicate the firms’ commitment to professional excellence in all its forms. Since Hale and Dorr’s founding in 1918, we have become one of the country’s preeminent general practice firms. With extraordinary practices in corporate, litigation, real estate, intellectual property, labor, tax, trusts and estates, commercial, environmental, government regulation, life sciences and other areas, we have enjoyed and benefited from a wonderful reputation and dominant national position. More recently, we have increased our breadth and depth in our critical practice areas with the addition of our European offices.

Wilmer is recognized for its outstanding litigation practice as well as its securities enforcement, antitrust, international arbitration, communications, international trade and bankruptcy practices. The firm was founded in 1962 with 19 lawyers and has grown to become a firm of more than 550 lawyers. Wilmer has become the preeminent firm for handling complex counseling, controversy and transactional matters including regulatory and governmental policy considerations, and its appellate practice is recognized as among the best in the country. Its partners have served as White House Counsel to Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as in many other high level positions in government.

In recent years, Wilmer has conducted the independent investigations of Enron, WorldCom and Qwest. It has represented clients in virtually every major securities investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Attorney General. Wilmer has also been involved in each of the major Supreme Court cases under the 1996 Telecom Act. Wilmer has a distinguished pro bono heritage and served as a leading force in creating the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. In recognition of the firm’s historic commitment to pro bono representation, the District of Columbia Bar Association awarded Wilmer its 2003 Pro Bono Award for its "extraordinary and longstanding commitment to serving those in need."

The combination will take effect by May 31, 2004. At that time, we will be a firm of more than 1,000 lawyers, with offices in Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, Princeton, NJ, Waltham, MA, London, Oxford, Brussels, Berlin and Munich, and with a presence in Beijing.

We hope you will join us in celebrating this major milestone as it provides a tremendously exciting opportunity for you, our clients, and ourselves. We look forward to bringing to you a range of expertise and a quality of service unmatched by any other global, interdisciplinary law firm.

You will hear much more about the combination in the near future, but we wanted to communicate this information to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me or any of our partners.


William F. Lee