Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling reveal ‘game-changing’ merger plan

The new firm will be the sole global with equal measures of US, English and local law capabilities

Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling reveal ‘game-changing’ merger plan

Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling have revealed a plan to merge into a new global firm christened Allen Overy Shearman Sterling (A&O Shearman).

The combined firm will be the sole global firm to have equal measures of US, English and local law capabilities, Allen & Overy said. The merger is expected to bolster both firms’ growth strategies.

“Client need for global elite firms has never been greater. They are calling for integrated global legal solutions and advice: merging with Allen & Overy will dramatically accelerate our ability to meet their needs in an increasingly complex environment”, Shearman & Sterling senior partner Adam Hakki said. “This is truly a game-changing moment for both firms that will create an unparalleled offering for our clients”.

Under the merger, Shearman & Sterling will have access to a global offering spanning various practice areas, while Allen & Overy gains heightened board-level recognition and a wider base of corporate clients in the US. Moreover, the combination enables both firms to jump on international macro trends in the areas of energy transition, tech and private capital.

“We have listened to our clients and their requests for the highest quality advice to help navigate the demands they face, and to do so in an integrated and globally consistent way”, Allen & Overy senior partner Wim Dejonghe explained. “What excites me about this merger is the complementary cultures of our two firms. We have striking similarities across the board, and I believe we are going to be wonderful partners to one another on this journey”.

A&O Shearman will have a massive roster amounting to about 3,900 lawyers and approximately 800 partners across 49 branches worldwide. The combined revenues come to about US$3.4bn.

Allen & Overy tapped Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as legal counsel and Lazard as financial advisor. Shearman & Sterling is being represented by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

The merger proposal hinges on the fulfillment of customary closing conditions, including a vote of the partners at each firm.

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