SJ Berwin enticed by Chinese dragon

It’s a year to the day since Dewey & LeBoeuf filed for bankruptcy in the US and administration in the UK. The dust seems to be settling, but the whole debacle points to the massive change in the nature and appearance of the legal industry in recent years.

Few revolutions in the profession have been more obvious than the urge to merge, which has seen or will see global beasts formed such as Norton Rose Fulbright, Dentons and Herbert Smith Freehills.

The latest one on the cards, as The Lawyer revealed last week, is SJ Berwin-King & Wood Mallesons, which is in the advanced stages of negotiations. As we detail today, the tie-up has the potential to create a serious Eurasian force capable of significantly increasing its US merger prospects, even if that means SJ Berwin’s name might go out of the window.

And the market appears to be largely supporting SJ Berwin’s efforts to beef up in Asia, despite the possible difficulties involved.

This may be the first of many City firms to go the way of the Chinese dragon.

Also on

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Addleshaws launches in Qatar, while Linklaters has moved four lawyers to Seoul for its Korea launch

Travers Smith is actingquickly to change its ways following last week’s Employment Tribunal high-profile ruling over pregnant trainee Katie Tantum

Why the Withers-Speechly merger collapsed

And how the Freshfields connection spurred Chris Howard’s move from Linklaters to Sullivan & Cromwell