Herbert Smith is the latest firm to enter the Australian market and will merge with Freehills.
Both firms confirmed tonight that partners voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging to create a new firm, Herbert Smith Freehills.
The full equity merger will see a single profit pool from day one, the firms said in a statement.
The merged firm will have 20 offices, with 2800 lawyers, including 460 partners, making it the world’s eighth largest law firm based on total lawyer numbers.
The new firm will be organised around global practice groups and will be led by joint CEOs David Willis and Gavin Bell, the current managing partners of Herbert Smith and Freehills respectively.
Willis said both firms believe premium legal services will become increasingly dominated by global firms.
"This merger will therefore put us in a strong position to provide clients with the single global offering they increasingly demand."
Freehills’ Bell said: "The merger will give Herbert Smith Freehills the platform to become the leading global law firm across Asia Pacific, a region likely to see continued substantial growth and to become an increasingly important part of the global legal services market.
“Establishing from day one a single, integrated firm will give all partners the incentive to work together toward a set of shared goals and ensure a seamless service to clients."
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