Simmons puts China and Germany growth ahead of US merger

Simmons & Simmons has put finding a US merger on the backburner, preferring to focus on investment in Germany and China.

Mark Dawkins
Mark Dawkins

Managing partner Mark Dawkins told The Lawyer that, although the firm was not pursuing a US merger, last year’s talks with Mayer Brown made him realise “that we sometimes underestimate how strong our name and reputation are”.

The major attraction of Mayer Brown was the opportunity it would have given Simmons to bulk up in China. Four years ago Simmons shelved plans to open in Beijing after regional managing partner Huen Wong left for Fried Frank with a seven-partner team. Now Simmons has lured back one of the partners and has reapplied for a licence in the Chinese capital.

Dawkins also said ­Simmons’ German practice had “nearly trebled in size over the past six years”.

“We’ve focused on bringing in quality and that’s paid huge dividends, as we now have a strong and highly regarded practice in Germany, which we expect to continue to grow,” he added.

The comments were made as Dawkins prepares to hand over the reins to Jeremy Hoyland in May.

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