King & Wood Mallesons’ global managing partner Stuart Fuller (pictured) will head up the Executive Committee of the firm in its new global organisational structure, which came into effect following the commencement of its merger with SJ Berwin on Friday (1 November).
KWM’s Australia managing partner Sue Kench is also a member of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for operational decisions regarding the KWM network and integration of the member firms, as well as for making recommendations to the International Management Committee (IMC), the firm’s overall governing body.
The other members of the Executive Committee are China-based Wang Ling and Rupert Li, and Rob Day from SJ Berwin.
The IMC, which is headed up by global chairman Wang Junfeng, is responsible for strategy, integration, governance and other major decisions. Other permanent members of the 12-person IMC include Stephen Kon, David Friedlander, Rob Day, Maxence Bloch and Stefan Kruger; with Jonathan Blake and Craig Pollack joining it as alternates.
Under the new structure the merged firm will also have global practice coordinators for the nine largest practice teams; three of those global practice coordinators are Australia-based partners.
Yuen-Yee Cho will be the banking & finance global practice coordinator; Beau Deleuil will head up the dispute resolution/litigation team globally and Justin Cherrington will lead the tax practice.
All of those partners are based in the firm’s Sydney office.
Of the six remaining global practice coordinators, three are from SJ Berwin and three are from KWM’s practice in China.
The three China-based global practice heads are: Zhu Nongfan (intellectual property), Handel Lee (projects/energy & resources) and Rupert Li (corporate, M&A and securities).
The global practice coordinators from SJ Berwin are Simon Holmes, Jonathan Blake and Bryan Pickup, who will head the antitrust & regulatory, funds/ private equity and real estate groups, respectively.
The global practice coordinators will work together through the Business Development Committee and will report to the IMC.
Commenting on the new global organisational structure, Stuart Fuller said: “We have come together to create something unique that offers our clients a bold new choice among the global elite.
“This globally-integrated structure is a critical step to ensure we deliver a seamless, client-centric and commercially-focused legal service across the firm.”
When discussing the merger with Lawyers Weekly last week, Sue Kench insisted that this was a marriage of equals and that KWM “did not marry down” by partnering with the Silver Circle firm.
“[SJ Berwin] is the right size for us ... it is bringing equally-balanced firms into the network without one gobbling the other up,” Kench said.