Hammonds, Squire Sanders win 90 per cent backing for merger

The partnerships of Hammonds and Squire Sanders  & Dempsey have voted overwhelmingly in favour of its proposed merger, which will go live on 1 January 2011.

Peter Crossley
Peter Crossley

More than 90 per cent of the firms’ partnerships voted for the tie-up, which will create a 1,275-lawyer firm with a turnover of $625m, putting it on course to break into The Lawyer’s top 50 international firms by revenue.

As reported by The Lawyer last week, the combined practice will operate under the Squire Sanders & Dempsey brand in the US and Eastern Europe, while in the UK, Europe and Asia it will be known as Squire Sanders Hammonds (4 November 2010).

The new firm will be led by Squire Sanders chairman James Maiwurm, who takes on the role of global chair and chief executive officer.  Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley has been named Europe managing partner and New York-based Squire Sanders partner Howard Nicolas will become managing partner for the Americas and Asia Pacific.

The new firm’s global board will also include four Hammonds partners and six from Squire Sanders. The Hammonds representatives are London-based partners David Hull and Robert Weekes, Madrid partner Rafael Alonso and Leeds-based Jonathan Jones.

The firm will operate under a Swiss Verein structure similar to other transatlantic unions including Hogan Lovells and SNR Denton. Crossley told The Lawyer that within a year of going live all the firm’s lawyers will work under the same merit-based remuneration system.

Crossley said: “All partners will be assessed on the same basis, which means everyone’s singing from the same hymn sheet and remunerated on the same basis across the entire firm. That’s something that distinguishes from one or two other combinations.”

Commenting on the result of the vote, Maiwurm told The Lawyer: “It shows that both firms’ partnerships are aligned and that we can move forward confidently, knowing we’re united and that this is something both firms really want.”