International firm Holman Fenwick Willan has agreed to merge with US-based Legge Farrow Kimmitt McGrath & Brown. The combined firm will have 170 partners and 15 offices in the UK, Europe, US, Middle East and Asia.

Around 450 lawyers work at Holman Fenwick Willan, whose UK presence is in Fenchurch Street, and around 20 at the Texas-based civil litigation firm.

The combined firm will launch in January.

Richard Crump, global senior partner at Holman Fenwick Willan, said Houston represented ‘a major business hub’ for the firm.

‘Having an on-the-ground US office has been a goal for some time and this merger will bring us closer to our existing clients in the region,’ he said.

Glenn Legge, one of the founding partners of Legge Farrow Kimmitt McGrath & Brown, said it was pleased to formalise its ‘long-standing’ relationship with the firm.

In another US tieup, magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer announced it has appointed Aly El Hamamsy as a partner in the firm’s US corporate practice. El Hamamsy will join the New York office.