Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling today (21 May) announced a planned merger to create a global law firm named Allen Overy Shearman Sterling – A&O Shearman for short. This merger will combine two of the world’s most prestigious law firms with 3,900 lawyers and 800 partners across 49 offices.
In a statement, the pair said that the merger is driven by clients’ needs for a seamless global offering to support them in navigating an increasingly complex legal, regulatory, and geopolitical environment.
Allen & Overy and Shearman have huge strength in the U.S., UK, and markets across the globe. The merger follows failed talks between Shearman and Hogan Lovells, which ended in March.
Wim Dejonghe, senior partner at Allen & Overy, said: “This combination of two great firms is such an exciting step for us. Both firms have a history of excellence, and together we think A&O Shearman will be a firm unlike any other in the world. 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. We, A&O Shearman, will do this by accelerating our ability to bring the best of both firms, regardless of geography.
“Shearman & Sterling is an incredible group of legal minds; a firm built on integrity and excellence, founded like us in a premier global financial capital and with an extraordinary group of longstanding clients. 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.”
Adam Hakki, senior partner at Shearman & Sterling, said: “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. Allen & Overy is an outstanding firm whose work we have long admired and thought of as a kindred spirit. We have both always placed great emphasis on attracting and retaining top talent, were early to globalize, and are relentlessly focused on quality, excellence, and collaboration.
“This is truly a game-changing moment for both firms that will create an unparalleled offering for our clients. It is also a fantastic opportunity for our people to be part of a transformative transaction and an institution of such significance, and we look forward to recruiting even more stellar talent in the coming years.”
The proposed merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including a vote of the partners of each of the respective firms.