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Shearman & Sterling merges with Allen & Overy

by Matthias Plötz 23 May 2023

Allen & Overy has merged with Shearman & Sterling under the name Allen Overy Shearman Sterling – A&O Shearman for short – in a bid to expand their expertise across practice areas such as energy transition, technology and private capital.

According to the two firms, the merger will see Shearman expand its services on a global scale, while Allen & Overy should benefit from Shearman’s corporate client list in the US.

The combined entity has approximately 3,900 lawyers and 800 partners spread across 49 offices.

“This combination of two great firms is such an exciting step for us. Both firms have a history of excellence, and together we think A&O Shearman will be a firm unlike any other in the world,” said Wim Dejonghe, senior partner at Allen & Overy. “We have listened to our clients and their requests for the highest quality advice to help navigate the demands they face, and to do so in an integrated and globally consistent way. We, A&O Shearman, will do this by accelerating our ability to bring the best of both firms, regardless of geography.”

Dejonghe added: “What excites me about this merger is the complementary cultures of our two firms. We have striking similarities across the board and I believe we are going to be wonderful partners to one another on this journey.”.

Adam Hakki, senior partner at Shearman & Sterling, commented: “Clients’ need for global elite firms has never been greater. They are calling for integrated global legal solutions and advice – merging with Allen & Overy will dramatically accelerate our ability to meet their needs in an increasingly complex environment. Allen & Overy is an outstanding firm whose work we have long admired and thought of as a kindred spirit. We have both always placed great emphasis on attracting and retaining top talent, were early to globalise, and are relentlessly focused on quality, excellence and collaboration.”

During the transaction, Allen & Overy was advised by Lazard in a financial capacity, while Simpson Thacher and Bartlett served as legal counsel. Shearman & Sterling was advised by Davis Polk and Wardwell.

The end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 saw a considerable reshuffle of London’s legal market, as US firms sought to carve out local practices and expand their offering around GP-leds and secondaries.

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