The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... 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.
It seems SJ Berwin has an admirer. As we report today, Asia-Pacific giant King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is well up for a tie-up with the UK firm, which has been in Australia in recent weeks trying to secure a local deal.
Indeed, it’s been a delegation of a rather senior nature that has been travelling Down Under to negotiate a merger of some sort, with sources suggesting KWM is the suitor in question. Senior partner Stephen Kon, still in his first year as firm chief, went on the Antipodean trip alongside the likes of finance head Jeremy Cross and strategy director Rachel Reid.
It would silly to rule out Clayton Utz and Minter Ellison, the remaining independent Australian firms, as possible merger targets for SJ Berwin, but all the indications are that the much-touted deal with KWM could be a step closer.
The synergies are not immediately obvious, but KWM wants to be in the US and the UK and SJ Berwin has pushed its energy and infrastructure practice, central to any Australia strategy. It could be a major, transformational deal.
The news also suggests SJ Berwin has put Asia Pacific ahead of its US merger plans, despite briefly talking to Mayer Brown last year, but this is mere speculation. Whatever the truth in this respect, it clearly feels a combination would be nice. The pain of the termination of talks with US firm Proskauer Rose is wearing off, it seems.
And it might be close to finding that dance partner.