International firm SJ Berwin has merged with Australian-Chinese giant King & Wood Mallesons in a deal that will create a firm with combined turnover of $1bn (£657m) and significantly increase SJ Berwin’s presence in Asia.

SJ Berwin currently has 13 partners and lawyers in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a number that will increase to 1,389 across 11 locations in China.

The firm has 336 lawyers in Europe and the Middle East, with 194 based in London. King & Wood Mallesons has 2,700 lawyers globally.

Rob Day, managing partner at SJ Berwin, said the firm was responding to client interest in the Asian market. ‘This is very much the start of the journey,’ he said.

SJ Berwin will merge with the King & Wood Mallesons network on 1 November 2013 and change its name to King & Wood Mallesons. It will temporarily trade under the name King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin in the UK, continental Europe and the Middle East.