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US litigation giant Shook Hardy & Bacon has merged with London litigation specialist Arnander Irvine & Zietman to form a transatlantic practice focused solely on contentious work
Shook Hardy and Arnander Irvine will formally merge at the beginning of July, taking the combined capacity to 17 partners and 35 other fee-earners. All 10 Arnander Irvine partners will join Shook Hardy's London multinational partnership, which will in turn become a limited liability partnership. Arnander Irvine senior partner Clive Zietman said: "We've had approaches from scores of American and UK firms, but Shook Hardy & Bacon share our vision of creating a strong standalone litigation practice." Shook Hardy's client list includes 62 of the top-100 US companies. Arnander Irvine's clients include Astra Pharmaceuticals and DaimlerChrysler. Shook Hardy chairman John Murphy said: "Although Shook Hardy has been in London since 1989, this merger represents a new benchmark in meeting evolving client requirements." Shook Hardy's small London office has focused on product liability work. The merger expands this capability to intellectual property, fraud and commercial litigation and allows the firm to offer UK law advice. The two firms will maintain separate premises in the short-term as neither has sufficient space to fully accommodate the other. Zietman said that no decision had been made about the management structure of the London practice.