Herbert Smith merger creates ‘truly global’ giant
International law firm Herbert Smith is to merge with Australian firm Freehills to create one of the world’s largest firms.
The new firm, Herbert Smith Freehills will, subject to regulatory approval, launch on 1 October, Herbert Smith said today. It will have 2,800 lawyers, including 460 partners worldwide and operate from 20 offices spanning Australia, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the UK, making it the eighth largest law firm based on total lawyer numbers.
It will be a full equity merger with a single profit pool.
The new firm will be led by joint chief exectives, David Willis and Gavin Bell, the current managing partners of Herbert Smith and Freehills respectively.
It will be organised around global practice groups and have representatives from both firms on its management and governance bodies.
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 that the market for premium legal services will become increasingly dominated by a small number of truly global firms.’
Willis added: ‘This merger will therefore put us in a strong position to provide clients with the single global offering they increasingly demand.’
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.’