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Biggest Law Firm Merger: Allen & Overy, Shearman & Sterling Merger Approved

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Judith Mariya

Published on October 14, 2023, 14:51:25

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law firm, merger and acquisition, allen & overy, shearman & sterling

Partners from the UK-based Allen & Overy and the US-headquartered Shearman & Sterling have given the green light to a proposed merger, marking a significant development in the legal industry by forming a formidable new competitor. The merger plan received unanimous approval from both firms, with 99% of the partners at each organization voting in favour of the consolidation, as confirmed in a joint announcement.

The newly established entity, named A&O Shearman, immediately ascends to the position of the world's largest legal firm. It boasts an impressive roster of approximately 3,900 lawyers and achieved a combined gross revenue of $3.4 billion in the previous year. The decision to merge stems from both firms' strategic considerations: Allen & Overy sought to establish a foothold in the US market, while Shearman & Sterling aimed to bolster its market presence and growth.

Wim Dejonghe, A&O's senior partner, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating, "This merger is a transformative moment for both organizations and for the legal industry." Dejonghe, along with Khalid Garousha, A&O's managing partner, is set to lead the newly merged firm, as indicated by sources familiar with the matter. Additionally, it is expected that Adam Hakki, Shearman's senior partner, will assume a key leadership role in the newly formed organization.

Notably, prior to this merger, Allen & Overy had explored the possibility of joining forces with the US firm O'Melveny & Myers, though these discussions ultimately ended without an agreement in 2019. Meanwhile, Shearman & Sterling had engaged in tie-up discussions with Hogan Lovells in March, which were subsequently abandoned.

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