Chinese firm King & Wood has voted in favour of merging with Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques, giving the green light for the deal to go ahead next year.
The partnership poll comes after Mallesons’ partners last month gave their backing to the tie-up (24 November 2011). The Mallesons vote had required a 75 per cent majority from its 170-plus partnership for the merger to be approved.
Mallesons and King & Wood have been in talks since at least July (21 July 2011).
The deal is expected to transform the global legal market by spawning a major international firm that did not originate in either the UK or the US.
Until recently King & Wood was in an alliance with Australia firm Gilbert & Tobin.
This is not the firm time a Chinese firm and an Australian firm have engaged in a tie-up. Australia’s Freehills entered into a non-exclusive deal with TransAsia in 2009 (16 September 2009) and King & Wood had an alliance with Australia’s Gilbert & Tobin, with whom it forged a relationship in 2007 (8 November 2007).