London-based law firm Allen & Overy and New York’s Shearman & Sterling have announced their plan to merge, aiming to create one of the world’s largest legal practices with combined global revenue of $3.4 billion. The proposed merger, subject to partner approval, would establish the third-largest integrated law firm by gross revenue, with a $1 billion practice in the United States. The combined entity, to be named A&O Shearman, will possess an extensive global footprint, boasting around 3,900 lawyers across 49 offices worldwide.
The merger will position A&O Shearman as the only global firm with equal expertise in U.S. law, English law, and local law capabilities, as affirmed in a joint statement by the two firms. This strategic move comes after Shearman & Sterling terminated discussions with transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells, making the merger with Allen & Overy a significant step forward.
The deal holds promising prospects for both firms. Allen & Overy stands to gain greater access to Shearman & Sterling’s esteemed U.S. corporate client base, while Shearman & Sterling will benefit from A&O’s expansive global reach. For Allen & Overy, the merger represents a substantial stride towards its long-standing goal of establishing a strong presence in the U.S. market, following the failure of a previous deal with California law firm O’Melveny & Myers four years ago.
With reported revenues of £1.9 billion and a workforce of 5,800 employees worldwide, Allen & Overy surpasses Shearman & Sterling, which recorded revenues of $907 million and employs 1,350 staff members. Upon completion, the merger will solidify their position as the third-largest integrated law firm globally by gross revenues.
The proposed merger between Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling stands as one of the most notable law firm consolidations in recent years. The decision awaits a vote of approval from partners at both firms, and if successful, the process is expected to conclude by early 2024. The union of these industry leaders reflects the ongoing trend of law firms seeking to expand their global presence and enhance their service offerings to meet evolving client demands.
By combining their resources, expertise, and cultural values, Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling aim to create a more competitive and comprehensive legal practice capable of serving clients worldwide. The merger not only strengthens their market position but also enables them to better address the complexities of the modern business environment while continuing to deliver exceptional legal solutions.
As the legal landscape continues to evolve, the proposed merger between Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling represents a bold move towards achieving global growth and adapting to the changing dynamics of the industry. Should the merger receive partner approval, A&O Shearman will emerge as a formidable legal powerhouse, poised to shape the future of legal services on a global scale.
The planned merger between Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling is a significant milestone in the legal industry, aiming to create a global legal powerhouse capable of navigating the complexities of the modern business environment. The merger will establish A&O Shearman as a dominant player in the market, offering a comprehensive range of services worldwide. With Allen & Overy’s ambition to establish a strong presence in the United States and Shearman & Sterling’s access to A&O’s global network, the merger will benefit both firms and their clients. The creation of A&O Shearman will solidify its position as one of the largest integrated law firms globally, driving positive social impact and promoting sustainable business practices. This strategic move reflects the evolving demands of clients who seek comprehensive legal solutions. The merger is expected to set new standards of excellence, innovation, and client service, leading the way in shaping the future of the legal services industry on a global scale.