Top J.P. Morgan M&A adviser heads to Cadwalader

Jim Woolery assumes leadership role, says firm must become more business-oriented

Wall Street law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft has recruited one of New York’s top M&A advisers.

Yesterday, Jim Woolery left his position as co-head of U.S. M&A at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and joined Cadwalader, where he will now serve as deputy chairman and co-head of the firm’s corporate practice. His new position places him as a possible successor to current Cadwalader Chairman W. Chris White.

Woolery will reportedly be earning more at Cadwalader than he did at J.P. Morgan. According to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, top law firms seeking the best and the brightest in the business world frequently offer annual salaries between $5 million and $10 million.

Woolery and White say they plan to shape Cadwalader into a firm that excels in transactional and regulatory work with the goal of helping clients better manage risk.

“I do believe the law firm model has to evolve,” Woolery told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re going to take a very prominent firm, and give it a very business orientation. … It isn’t as if I thought, well, there’s going to be a huge M&A boom and this is a bad time to be running a law firm. We’re going to be moving very directly into that space.”

Look for InsideCounsel’s coverage of M&A trends in the April issue’s cover story.

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Ashley Post

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