K&L Gates joins Aussie rush with Middletons merger

K&L Gates has confirmed it is merging with Australian firm Middletons in a tie-up creating a 2,000 lawyer firm with 46 offices globally.

The two firms announced late last night (3 December) that the merger will take effect on 1 January, after news first broke of talks in August this year (17 August 2012).

Middletons brings 300 lawyers and offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane to K&L Gates’ global network, which recently expanded further with the announcement of a Seoul office (15 November 2012). The combined firm will be known as K&L Gates.

The firms are claiming the tie-up will create “a single integrated global law firm” with full financial, operational, and technological integration, global governance and a single approach to partner compensation.

In a joint statement K&L Gates chairman and global managing partner Peter Kalis and Middletons national managing partner Nick Nichola said: “By their resoundingly affirmative votes, our partners have boldly seized the future by aligning our business with the businesses of clients in an era of intense consolidation and globalisation. With the largest integrated network of law offices and law partners of any global law firm, our clients will be able seamlessly and efficiently to access top-notch legal resources around the corner and around the world.”

K&L Gates’ presence in the Asia Pacific region will be extensive with over 400 lawyers in 11 offices in countries including China, South Korea, Singapore and Japan.