Bird & Bird is to merge with its Australian alliance partner Truman Hoyle a year and a half after signing a co-operation agreement with the TMT firm.
The deal, which is due to go live on 3 November, will gift Bird & Bird eight partners in Sydney, with Truman Hoyle managing partner Shane Barber taking charge of the office.
The two firms first joined forces in March last year in a deal that saw them jointly market services to clients (22 March 2013). Last month Bird & Bird CEO David Kerr told The Lawyer it was likely that the two firms would merge (16 September 2014).
In a statement released this morning Kerr said that his firm had been “very impressed by the calibre of the Truman Hoyle lawyers”, adding that the two firms “share a similar culture and set of values as well as sector-focused approach to servicing our clients”.
“Acting as one firm will enable us to further grow our operations in the region and offer our clients the same type and quality of legal services as in our other offices across Asia Pacific and globally,” he added.
Growth in Asia has been a particular focus for Bird & Bird in recent times, with the firm until now favouring co-operation agreements with local firms over full integration (26 February 2014).
Following the Truman Hoyle deal last year the firm signed non-exclusive alliances with South Korean firm Hwang Mok Park (25 February 2014) as well as two Indonesian practices, Jakarta-based IP boutique K&K Advocates and five-partner firm Nurjadin Sumono Mulyadi & Partners (25 June 2014).
Kerr said that the Australian merger represents “an important step in executing our strategy of continued expansion in the Asia Pacific region”.