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King & Wood Mallesons, SJ Berwin to merge

New 2,700-lawyer firm will see about $1 billion in revenue

A freshly announced merger is about to create a global powerhouse law firm.

Today Asia’s largest law firm, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), and London-based SJ Berwin announced that they will merge to form a new firm with about $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,700 lawyers, including more than 550 partners in 30 locations. (In addition to a press release, KWM released a video announcement about the merger, a first as far as the editors at InsideCounsel know.) The merger should be finalized on Nov. 1.

KWM formed last year when Beijing-based King & Wood, a leading Chinese firm, and top Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jacques combined. The law firm merger was significant, as it was the largest one not to involve a U.S. or U.K. firm.

The merger announcement reflects a growing trend among law firms to complete cross-border mergers that create globally focused firms. KWM Global Managing Partner Stuart Fuller said in a press release that the firm’s merger will “provide our clients in the region with a first class platform and an entrepreneurial spirit to support their international expansion. It will also provide international clients with the best gateway to Asia with a global firm that has superb transactional cross-border skills and which understands local cultures.”

Read Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog for more about the merger.

For more InsideCounsel law firm news, read:

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Law firm hourly rates jumped 4.8% last year

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Ashley Post

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