This website uses cookies to enhance your experience and to help us improve the site. Please see our Privacy Statement for further information. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive these cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

For more information on which cookies we use then please refer to our Cookie Policy.

King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin combine to create first global law firm headquartered in Asia

31 Jul 2013

The Power of Together - Connecting Asia to the world and the world to Asia

King & Wood Mallesons and leading international law firm SJ Berwin announced today a world first legal combination, marking the next step for their clients in building a new global law firm based in Asia.

The combination continues to reshape the global legal industry with King & Wood Mallesons being the only global law firm which is headquartered in the Asia Pacific and focused on connecting Asia to the world and the world to Asia. The combination of the Asian regional powerhouse and SJ Berwin’s European and Middle East top quality capability provides regional and international clients with a unique choice among traditional global elite firms.

Global Managing Partner of King & Wood Mallesons, Stuart Fuller said that the combination of King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin builds on the success of King & Wood Mallesons and confirms its position as a global law firm.

“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 crossborder skills and which understands local cultures. Only King & Wood Mallesons can connect its capabilities to the region’s opportunities in a way that makes a real difference to our clients.”

King & Wood Mallesons Chairman, Wang Junfeng, said: “There are significant synergies between our firms. We share the same values, goals, client focus and entrepreneurial drive. King & Wood Mallesons has always been a pioneer in Asia and the combination with SJ Berwin cements our position as the global law firm for the future.”

The Senior Partner of SJ Berwin, Stephen Kon, said: “Throughout its history, SJ Berwin has prided itself on being innovative. It has been prepared to be bold and challenge the market. This combination was the logical next step for the network. It positions our clients, partners and people to engage fully with the Asian Century, representing an opportunity for us to build a law firm for the future which is worthy of all we have achieved at SJ Berwin with our clients to date.”

From 1 November 2013, the King & Wood Mallesons network will become one of the top 25 law firms in the world. With more than 2,700 lawyers, including more than 550 partners in 30 locations across the world, including China, Hong Kong, Australia, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Middle East, Japan, and the US.


Editors notes

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 the brand King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin in the UK, continental Europe and the Middle East.

The King & Wood Mallesons network is a Swiss Verein currently consisting of three Member Firms:  King & Wood Mallesons Hong Kong; King & Wood Mallesons Australia; and King & Wood Mallesons China.  Each of these Member Firms is known as King & Wood Mallesons. 

SJ Berwin will join the Verein as a fourth Member Firm from the commencement date.

Additional quotes:

Rob Day, Managing Partner, SJ Berwin: “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.”

Sue Kench, Managing Partner Australia, King & Wood Mallesons: “King & Wood Mallesons has always been driven by the needs of our clients. Combining with SJ Berwin delivers on that promise by providing them with tailored local law capability from an international brand that they know and trust as well as a new depth of quality expertise to support their commercial interests locally, regionally and globally.”

Wang Ling, Managing Partner China, King & Wood Mallesons: “Our clients are rapidly globalising.  This combination with SJ Berwin provides us with the strength and depth and a quality international platform to help them navigate the complexity of inbound and outbound Chinese investment around the world.”

Facts and figures

From 1 November King & Wood Mallesons network will be one of the top 25 law firms in the world with:

  • 553 Partners (234 Asia, 163 Europe and the Middle East, 154 Australia, 2 US) 
  • 2,233 Lawyers (1,157 Asia, 731 Australia, 343 Europe and the Middle East, 2 US) 
  • 30 Locations (11 China, 9 Europe, 5 Australia, 1 Middle East , 2 US, 1 Hong Kong, 1 Japan) 
  • Circa $1 billion USD revenue

About SJ Berwin:

  • 165 Partners (158 Europe (including 94 London) 3 Asia, 4 Middle East) 
  • 346 Total qualified lawyers (328 Europe (including 194 London), 10 Asia, 8 Middle East) 
  • 12 Locations (9 Europe, 1 Middle East, 1 Hong Kong, 1 Shanghai)

About King & Wood Mallesons:

  • 388 Partners (197 China, 154 Australia, 34 Hong Kong, 2 US, 1 UK) 
  • 1,887 Lawyers (1,001 China, 731 Australia, 144 Hong Kong, 7 UK, 2 US, 2 Japan) 
  • 21 Locations (11 China, 5 Australia, 2 US, 1 HK, 1 Japan, 1 UK)