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Allen & Overy, Shearman & Sterling merger approved

The partnerships of Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling have “overwhelmingly” voted in favour of a merger between the two firms, which will create what the BigLaw practices say will be the “first fully integrated global elite law firm”.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 17 October 2023 Big Law
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The proposed merger of Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling has been approved, with the partnerships of both firms having voted in favour of the creation of A&O Shearman.

According to a joint statement by the two BigLaw practices, more than 99 per cent of votes cast at each firm were in favour of the merger. It will create a practice that boasts almost 4,000 lawyers, with around 800 partners across 48 global offices, with combined revenues of approximately US$3.5 billion.

Announced in late May of this year, the merger will, the two global practices said at the time, create a “firm unlike any other in the world” at a time when client demand for global elite firms “has never been greater”.


The firms are now set to embark on a period of active integration planning while they work together towards the final closing of the transaction, which is anticipated in or before May 2024.

The news also follows A&O’s recording £2.1 billion in revenue for the last financial year, a 7 per cent increase on the previous year.

A&O senior partner Wim Dejonghe 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.

“We have long admired Shearman & Sterling for its outstanding reputation, talent, and client base, and we are confident that together we will create a truly exceptional global firm that will serve our clients’ needs in an increasingly complex and dynamic world.”

And Shearman & Sterling senior partner Adam Hakki added: “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, pre-eminent in all our markets.

“A&O Shearman will be a firm unlike any other in the world, built to achieve exceptional outcomes for our clients through an intentional focus on quality, excellence, and collaboration.

“We are creating a new industry leader with truly global capabilities, and we are excited for what is to come.”