Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling to create what it calls ‘first fully integrated global’ law firm

Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy. Photo: A&O Shearman

Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling have announced a planned merger to create a global law firm named Allen Overy Shearman Sterling — or A&O Shearman for short.

Together A&O Shearman will have about 3,900 lawyers and approximately 800 Partners across 49 offices. Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling have 250 years of combined experience, it said in a press release.

A&O Shearman said it will be the “only global firm with U.S. Law, English Law, and Local Law capabilities in equal measure.”

“This combination of two great firms is such an exciting step for us. Both firms have a history of excellence, and together we think A&O Shearman will be a firm unlike any other in the world,” said Wim Dejonghe, senior partner at Allen & Overy.

“We have listened to our clients and their requests for the highest quality advice to help navigate the demands they face, and to do so in an integrated and globally consistent way. We, A&O Shearman, will do this by accelerating our ability to bring the best of both firms, regardless of geography.”

Adam Hakki, senior partner at Shearman & Sterling, said the client need for global elite firms has never been greater.

“This is truly a game-changing moment for both firms that will create an unparalleled offering for our clients. It is also a fantastic opportunity for our people to be part of a transformative transaction and an institution of such significance, and we look forward to recruiting even more stellar talent in the coming years,” said Hakki.

Shearman & Sterling has a Canadian presence with offices in Toronto’s Commerce Court West, but does not list labour and employment law as a practice area.

It said the merger is “driven by clients’ needs for a seamless global offering of the highest quality and depth to support them in navigating an increasingly complex legal, regulatory, and geopolitical environment.”

Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling are complementary with distinct market leadership, and between them they have strength in the United States, United Kingdom, and markets all across the globe, it said.

This merger will transform their offering to clients, it said. Shearman & Sterling will gain access to a dramatically expanded ‘rest of the world’ offering across practice areas, and Allen & Overy will benefit from increased board-level recognition and expanded access to a corporate client base in the U.S.

The proposed merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including a vote of the Partners of each of the respective firms.

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