Top UK law firm teams up with Hong Kong powerhouse to create first global law firm headquartered in Asia

Top 20 UK law firm SJ Berwin and Asian regional powerhouse King & Wood Mallesons have announced they will be combining to create the first global law firm to be headquartered in Asia.

The two firms together have a global reach, with King & Wood Mallesons the largest law firm headquartered outside of the US and the UK and SJ Berwin operating primarily in Europe and the Middle East.

SJ Berwin will join the King & Wood Mallesons network on 1 November 2013. From this date, SJ Berwin will change its name to King & Wood Mallesons - but will trade for a transitional period under King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin in the UK, continental Europe and the Middle East. The move will propel King & Wood Mallesons’s legal network into the top 25 law firms in the world.

Stuart Fuller, global managing partner of King & Wood Mallesons, said:

We are delighted to welcome SJ Berwin on board. This will provide our clients in the region with a first class platform and an entrepreneurial spirit to support their international expansion. It will also provide international clients with the best gateway to Asia with a global firm that has superb transactional cross-border skills and which understands local cultures.

Rob Day, managing partner of SJ Berwin, said:

Speculation around a combination has followed our firm for many years. During that period we have always maintained that we would only proceed with strategic change if it was the right decision for our clients, our people, and our partners. We have now delivered a ground-breaking combination which offers our clients a level of coverage and quality which is simply different from other global law firms. We are excited about the opportunities ahead and the competitive advantage we have created.