Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling vote through mega-merger
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Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling vote through mega-merger

Allen & Overy

UK-headquartered Allen & Overy and US firm Shearman & Sterling have agreed to merge, with 99% of votes in favour

Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling have agreed to merge today, a move that partners at both firms say will create a “global elite law firm”.

The deal, first proposed in May, creates A&O Shearman, a firm that boasts 3,950 lawyers and 800 partners across 48 offices with combined revenues of approximately $3.5 billion.

A&O appears to be the more dominant force when it comes to intellectual property. The firm has an expansive IP team covering multiple jurisdictions.

Shearman & Sterling does not appear, at least on the face of it, to have a particularly large IP practice. Its website profiles 10 IP litigation lawyers and six lawyers active in IP transactions.

When Managing IP contacted both firms in May neither wanted to be drawn on IP specifics.

According to both firms, A&O Shearman will be the only global firm that offers US, UK and local law capabilities in equal measure.

The announcement in May was subject to partners at both firms voting in favour of the proposal with a significant majority needed to pursue the plans. More than 99% of the votes cast at each firm were in favour.

The deal is expected to be finalised in or before May 2024.

Both firms have made no secret of their desire to secure a transatlantic tie-up.

In March, Shearman & Sterling abandoned talks over a tie-up with Hogan Lovells, while A&O previously pursued a merger with another US firm, O'Melveny & Myers.

Wim Dejonghe, senior partner at A&O in London, said: “This is a historic moment for both firms and our profession. We are delighted that our partners have voted so resoundingly in favour of this merger, which is a transformational step for the legal industry."

Adam Hakki, senior partner at Shearman & Sterling, said: “Our partners have recognised and welcomed this unparalleled opportunity to combine our individual market leadership and brands to serve clients as an integrated global law firm, preeminent in all our markets.”

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