The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
City firm SJ Berwin’s merger with Asia Pacific giant King & Wood Mallesons has gone live today.
The new entity will be known as King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin for a transitional period before the UK firm’s name is dropped.
The combination produces one of the top 25 law firms in the world by revenue, with over 2,000 lawyers and a turnover of more than $1bn.
Probably best known for its private equity prowess, SJ Berwin was one of the younger members of the London elite, having been founded by prominent City lawyer Stanley Berwin in 1982.
In recent years, it had pursued mergers with several American firms without result, and the King & Wood Mallesons merger represents a change of thinking, as SJ Berwin senior partner Stephen Kon said in a video interview with The Lawyer editor Catrin Griffiths. “The world has changed,” he said. “Our clients are looking east as well as west. The direction of travel has changed.”
SJ Berwin chief Stephen Kon
Cultural differences, Kon added, were not as significant as many outsiders believe.
He said: “Although I know that it’s not uncommon to exaggerate the cultural differences between Asia and Europe, one of the great strengths of the combination is how well we do get on with people. We don’t see those cultural differences. We don’t feel them.”