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Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling Announce $3.4bn Merger

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Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling Announce $3.4bn Merger

Posted by: Latin Brains
Category: All, Law firms’ trends

In one of the most significant transatlantic legal deals in history, UK-based “magic circle” law firm Allen & Overy and New York’s Shearman & Sterling are set to merge, creating a powerhouse legal practice. The merger, subject to partner votes at both firms, will establish one of the world’s largest legal entities, boasting combined revenues of $3.4bn and a global presence spanning 49 offices.

The strategic move comes after Shearman & Sterling abandoned merger talks with Hogan Lovells earlier this year and aligns with Allen & Overy’s long-standing ambition to establish a strong foothold in the US market. Notably, a previous attempt to merge with California-based law firm O’Melveny & Myers fell through four years ago. This impending merger marks the first combination between a top-tier London law firm and a US counterpart since Clifford Chance’s merger with Rogers & Wells in 2000.

Wim Dejonghe, Senior Partner at Allen & Overy, expressed enthusiasm about the deal’s potential, stating, “[The deal] supercharges our ability to serve clients in the US market, which has long been a strategic priority. Both firms have a history of excellence, and together we think A&O Shearman will be a firm unlike any other in the world.”

While Allen & Overy emerges as the larger partner, reporting revenues of £1.9bn and a global workforce of 5,800, Shearman & Sterling recorded revenues of $907m last year and has a staff of 1,350. The merger would create the third-largest integrated law firm globally in terms of gross revenues, with a formidable $1bn practice in the US.

Adam Hakki, Senior Partner at Shearman & Sterling, emphasized the merger’s potential to better serve clients in an increasingly complex environment. He stated, “Merging with Allen & Overy will dramatically accelerate our ability to meet [clients’] needs in an increasingly complex environment.”

The proposed merger is expected to be put to partner votes in both firms during the summer, with completion anticipated within a year. The complementary cultures and shared values between the two firms are regarded as a source of excitement, with Dejonghe expressing confidence in their partnership, “We have striking similarities across the board, and I believe we are going to be wonderful partners to one another on this journey.”

As the legal landscape continues to evolve, this groundbreaking merger signals a new era of collaboration, enhanced global reach, and strengthened capabilities, ultimately benefitting clients seeking exceptional legal services. Stay tuned for further updates as this historic merger progresses.

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Author: Latin Brains