28 June, 2012
International law firms Herbert Smith and Freehills confirmed today that their partnerships have voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging to create a new firm, Herbert Smith Freehills. The firm will focus on providing an integrated service to clients across its 20 offices. This will be a full equity merger, with a single profit pool from day one. Launch of the firm is targeted for 1 October 2012.
It will be organised around global practice groups and will be led by joint CEOs David Willis and Gavin Bell, the current Managing Partners of Herbert Smith and Freehills respectively, with representatives from both firms on its management and governance bodies.
David Willis said:
"We are excited about bringing together two pre-eminent law firms to create a new and distinctive global law firm. We share with Freehills a strong belief that over the next few years the market for premium legal services will become increasingly dominated by a small number of truly global firms. This merger will therefore put us in a strong position to provide clients with the single global offering they increasingly demand."
Gavin Bell said:
"The merger will give Herbert Smith Freehills the platform to become the leading global law firm across Asia Pacific, a region likely to see continued substantial growth and to become an increasingly important part of the global legal services market. Establishing from day one a single, integrated firm will give all partners the incentive to work together toward a set of shared goals and ensure a seamless service to clients."
Herbert Smith Freehills
• 2,800 lawyers, including 460 partners worldwide
• 20 offices spanning Australia, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the UK
• Joint CEOs, David Willis and Gavin Bell and partners from both firms will sit on the global governing council
• Partners and COOs from both firms will form the global executive
• Full equity merger, with a single profit pool from day one
• Launch of the new firm is subject to regulatory approvals and is targeted for 1 October 2012
For further information, please contact:
Kevin Nudd, Herbert Smith
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