King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin LLP agreed to merge to form a law firm with about $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,700 lawyers.
From November 1, the combined firm will have more than 550 partners in 30 locations, according to a joint statement today.
The deal adds London-based SJ Berwin to Asia’s largest law firm, formed last year by the combination of Beijing-based King & Wood and Sydney-based Mallesons Stephen Jaques. It follows the creation last month of Norton Rose Fulbright, a 3,800-attorney firm which includes partnerships from London, Houston, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
Partners at the China, Hong Kong, Australia and London firms all gave widespread support to the merger in votes that concluded today, King & Wood Mallesons Global Managing Partner Stuart Fuller said at a media briefing.
SJ Berwin’s senior partner Stephen Kon will become a deputy chairman of the combined firm. Wang Junfeng, who founded King & Wood in 1993, remains chairman based in Beijing.
The combination with SJ Berwin will provide clients with an international platform for inbound and outbound Chinese investment, King & Wood Mallesons’ Managing Partner China Wang Ling said.