Law firm partners prepare to vote on multi-billion-dollar merger

updated on 22 September 2023

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Partners from magic circle law firm Allen & Overy LLP and New York-based Shearman & Sterling LLP are due to take a vote on their proposed merger that’s worth £2.7 billion.

The voting is set to take place from 28 September until 13 October and will require 75% approval from each firm’s partnership for the merger to go ahead.

If agreed, the deal will become one of the biggest transatlantic deals in history, creating one of the world’s largest legal practices with a total of 3,900 lawyers across 49 offices and a global revenue of around $3.4 billion. The merged firm would be referred to as Allen Overy Shearman Sterling.

The magic circle firm currently offers around 80 training contracts each year, while Shearman & Sterling offers about 12. Wim Dejonghe, senior partner at Allen & Overy, said preparations are “going well” and confirmed “great feedback” has been received from clients and colleagues.

The deal “supercharges” Allen & Overy’s “ability to serve clients in the US market”, which has been a part of the firm’s “strategic priority” for a long time. Meanwhile, following an announcement earlier in the year regarding lay offs in the US, Shearman & Sterling hopes the merger will “dramatically accelerate” its ability to meet clients’ needs in what Adam Hakki, a senior partner at the firm, describes as an “increasingly complex environment”.

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