Fate of Lexington jobs uncertain as Bingham McCutchen is absorbed by Philadelphia law firm

The Bingham Global Services Center in Coldstream Research Park in Lexington.
The Bingham Global Services Center in Coldstream Research Park in Lexington. Herald-Leader

The partners of Philadelphia law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP approved a deal Friday that would admit 227 partners from Boston-based Bingham McCutchen as partners in Morgan Lewis. However, it was unclear what, if any, effect the deal would have on Bingham McCutchen employees in Lexington.

Elliott Frieder, director of public relations for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, said the deal "is not a merger," and he would not elaborate on what the deal might mean for Bingham McCutchen's shared-services center in Lexington, which employs about 200 people.

Claire Papanastasiou, public relations manager for Bingham McCutchen in Lexington, declined comment late Friday afternoon.

Bingham's Global Services Center, located on the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus, is an administrative hub that employs support-staff positions from finance and accounting, human resources, information technology, knowledge services, marketing, operations and risk management.

The Lexington center also houses lawyers and other legal professionals.

The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog reported Friday that "The decision to combine with Morgan Lewis follows a rocky period for Bingham, whose revenue slid 12.6 percent last year. Dozens of partners have left the firm, which is now down to about 700 lawyers."

The blog said the deal would save Bingham "from a likely bankruptcy filing."

With the addition of 227 partners, Morgan Lewis said it "will be one of the largest firms in the world, and will offer clients global access to broad capabilities across a comprehensive spectrum of services and industries addressing virtually every aspect of corporate operations."

The Bingham partners are expected to join Morgan Lewis before the end of November.

When the deal is completed, Morgan Lewis will have nearly 2,000 lawyers and serve clients in 28 offices in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.