On November 1st, 2013, King & Wood Mallesons, the global law firm headquartered in Asia-Pacific, will officially merge with SJ Berwin.
Possible previous mergers with US firms were far outweighed by the advantages of joining King & Wood Mallesons, says Carlos Pazos, Managing Partner at SJ Berwin in Spain. “This merger gives us access to today’s hottest geographic region and our strategy has to be towards Asia-Pacific as that is where the future lies – economically and for the legal market.”
For the Madrid office, Asia-Pacific is of strategic importance because they see how the Chinese presence in Europe is growing at an impressive rate and vice versa, says Pazos, and the merger gives them access to clients and a level of coverage that they could not otherwise achieve.
This comes on the back of similar mergers between Herbert Smith and Australia’s Freehills at the end of last year, and Ashurst’s merger with Ashurst Australia (formerly Blake Dawson) due to complete in 2014. Whether we will see any Iberian law firms follow this trend remains to be seen.