Legg Mason of Baltimore, Md., has announced it has entered into a joint venture with Bingham Dana LLP, an international law firm based in Boston, to offer investment management and trust administration services for Bingham Dana's clients.

In forming the new venture, Legg Mason bought a 50 percent stake in Bingham Dana's trust business for an undisclosed sum. The new entity is named Bingham Legg Advisers, said Peter Simmons, president of the new venture.

The formation of the venture marks the first time a major law firm has become a partner with an investment advisory firm, Simmons said.

Bingham Legg Advisors will provide trust administration and portfolio management services to high net worth individuals and families, most of whom are in the New England region. The minimum portfolio is $1 million in managed assets, Simmons said.

In general, the portfolios will be composed of individual securities, but some will make use of mutual funds, Simmons said. Bingham Legg Advisors is not required to use Legg Mason mutual funds exclusively, but it will probably use the Legg Mason Value Trust, a fund that has done well recently and is attractive to Bingham Dana's clients, Simmons said.

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