Merger Watch

The day the magic circle died: A&O Shearman combine

Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling officially tie the knot today after a year of client discussions, integration planning and team introductions. The firm brings together nearly 4,000 lawyers, including 800 partners, with combined revenues of approximately $3.5bn. It had long been the plan of A&O’s outgoing senior partner Wim Dejonghe to develop a […]

Shadow team

A&O is the last gasp of UK soft power

If there’s any confirmation needed that A&O is in the driving seat of the Shearman merger, it’s this: the new senior and managing partner positions at the merged firm will be voted on only by A&O partners. But long term, Philip Bowden and Angela Clist (those are our picks; other candidates are available) will have […]


CMS strikes merger deal with Swedish firm

CMS is set to add two Swedish offices to its network after joining forces with a local firm. The merger with Stockholm-headquartered Wistrand will give the firm offices in both Sweden’s capital and its second city of Gothenburg. The announcement comes nearly two years after CMS announced its tie-up with Norwegian firm Kluge. Wistrand was […]

List of law firm mergers and acquisitions

The following is a list of mergers and acquisitions made by law firms since 2009. It is impossible to make such a list completely exhaustive but it contains the majority of mergers involving UK200 firms, as well as the major tie-ups between large firms in the United States of America. The UK200 rank and revenue […]

How to seduce a law firm

Merger negotiations between two firms of different sizes can be a tricky process. Here, a number of mid-tier managing partners give their view on how to win the hearts of potential smaller matches when on the acquisition trail.

On your marks, get set, A&O

Today’s the day: will Allen & Overy (A&O) and Shearman & Sterling vote to merge, or have efforts by both firms’ management failed to convince the naysayers? Unlike the excitement of a day’s General Election, both sides are being very lawyerly about it and can ponder for two whole weeks. The vote closes on 13 […]

election vote

It’s crunch time: A&O and Shearman partners prepare to vote

Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling will have two weeks to cast their vote on a crucial tie-up deal for both firms. Voting starts on 28 September and the polls will close on 13 October. Both firms need approvals of 75 per cent in favour of the merger to proceed. There was another vote […]

Two tie-ups in a week: Irwin Mitchell acquires Scottish firm

Irwin Mitchell has secured a tie-up with one of Scotland’s independent firms, in a week that has also seen the long-discussed merger of domestic players Morton Fraser and MacRoberts. Following on from Morton Fraser and MacRoberts’ merger deal, Irwin Mitchell has snapped up Wright Johnston & Mackenzie, causing further disruption to the nation’s legal market. […]

Morton Fraser to merge with MacRoberts as Scottish mid-sizers consolidate

Scottish firms Morton Fraser and MacRoberts are going ahead with one of the longest-discussed mergers in the history of the Scottish legal market, The Lawyer can exclusively reveal. The deal is broadly seen as a merger of equals, at least in terms of revenue size. In last year’s The Independents UK 200 report, Morton Fraser […]

DACB swoops for Ince’s Singapore alliance firm

DAC Beachcroft has formed an association with an independent Singapore firm that had previously worked in tandem with Ince’s international network. DACB has teamed up with Incisive Law, a local firm that was known up until earlier this year as Ince Singapore. Incisive Law had been allied with Ince since 2011, but it cut ties […]

DWF Manchester

DWF’s Inflexion sale: Legal fees exceed £3m

The sale of DWF to private equity house Inflexion has so far racked up a combined legal bill exceeding £3m. According to public documents, DWF estimates that its legal advice fees will total £1.3m. This is far lower than its expected expenses for financial and corporate broking advice of £5.1m. DWF is set to leave […]