The firm that will be king?

While the world rejoices and celebrates the birth of Britain’s royal baby today, the international legal fraternity is still eagerly awaiting the completion of the proposed merger between SJ Berwin and King & Wood Mallesons.

Sources have confirmed that SJ Berwin’s partners will start a week-long vote on the deal tomorrow (24 July), while King & Wood Mallesons’ vote is also set to take place before the end of this month.

According to market speculation, the timetable for the votes on King & Wood Mallesons’ side was delayed due to internal debates within legacy Mallesons’ partnership and the sudden reshuffle of leadership in Australia.

Challenges aside, King & Wood Mallesons’ global chair Wang Junfeng, global managing partner Stuart Fuller and SJ Berwin’s senior partner Stephen Kon are pushing enthusiastically for the successful delivery of their brainchild, as “momentum has gathered”.

Assuming the deal goes through, the next question is whether the new kid on the block will one day be king.

Asian moves: 23 July
Taylor Wessing hires Morgan Stanley lawyer to launch Singaporean compliance group
Vinson & Elkins loses first Shanghai partner following closure announcement
First-half turnover at £471.2m for post-merger Herbert Smith Freehills
SJ Berwin partners to vote on KWM deal next week