King & Wood Mallesons Global launches in London – a day after UK arm goes under

New firm “not presently” taking old firm trainees


The tragic tale of the UK arm of King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has ended with a bizarre twist: the ‘global’ incarnation of the firm has established a new business in London and other locations across Europe and the Middle East.

Yes, just a day after formally entering administration, KWM is back in a different guise to “maintain a strategic presence in the UK, Europe & the Middle East (EUME) to service the needs of its global clients”. This is possible because China-led KWM Global has always been a separate legal entity to KWM EUME.

KWM 2.0 will be staffed partly by over 30 partners, all of whom apparently come direct from KWM’s doomed EUME arm.

The partners and their accompanying teams of associates and support staff will handle predominantly corporate, M&A, finance, competition and dispute resolution. Seven of those partners will be based in London, with others split across Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Brussels, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Among the group will be Dubai-based Tim Taylor QC — whose explosive email bust-up with New York funds partner George Pinkham was leaked to Legal Cheek yesterday.

No trainees will be moving with the partners. This morning a spokesperson from KWM told us that the new firm would “not presently” be taking any trainees or future trainees from the now defunct KWM EUME.

With firms including Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells helping KWM EUME’s London trainees finish their training contracts, Legal Cheek understands that all pre-qualified rookies from the stricken firm will ultimately find a new home. Just today, Osborne Clarke confirmed it will be taking on two KWM trainees.

However, the situation is proving more difficult for students hired as future trainees by KWM EUME, some of whom report that they are being forced to re-apply for jobs from scratch at new firms without any allowances made for their situation.

KWM Global Chairman Wang Junfeng said:

I am proud and excited by the determination of our partners who have worked so hard with us to realise this practice in deeply challenging circumstances. This is a very good outcome for international clients and for the continued development of our firm.

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Shame the Derby article is closed for comments, I was going to remark on how Derby is a sh*thole anyway.


Meet Anton. He needs your help. His KWM law training contract was savagely taken from him through no fault of his own.

When poor Anton lost his training contract, he lost all of his privately educated friends, and his self-respect. He descended into a spiral of self-loathing, shame and incontinence. He didn’t even have a toilet roll to his name.

Anton’s lowest point came when he had to resort to living on Findus Crispy Pancakes from Farmfoods. Can you imagine such degradation to a man of Anton’s breeding?

But fortunately, you can help. For a donation of just £5K per month you too can help to save an abandoned law trainee like Anton from the sheer drudgery and humiliation of High-Street law firms.

Please, please call 0800 106 107 and give just £5K per month. Your donation will help abandoned trainees like Anton buy a Saville Row suit, and make him feel worthy once more.

Thank you.


I love these. Keep them coming!

Were you a chugger before going to law school, perchance?

The Real Care4lawyers

Post above is a fraud.

Beware of fake charities!!!


Isn’t this bordering on a phoenix company – same partners, same clients etc.


Who’d want to work for this 2.0 KWM firm, present or future?! I wouldn’t even take such risks.

US Trainee

Oh, yeah, totally mate. Just like you didn’t run out of toilet paper either, eh?

Adam "I trained at Jones Day" Deen

So different that all the Wankers at the previous KWM are still there

Swamp nuts

Same shit, different shovel.

I wouldn’t touch anything associated with/originating out of this shop with a barge pole.


Still remains the best legal brand in Asia and now being run by the Chinese because of the incompetency of the English. I think over time it will do well


If there are 7 partners in London, you would have thought they could have at least taken on a couple of trainees.


Dear support staff and trainees

Up yours, we’re teflon.


KWM partners xxx


So the trainees, support staff, and KWM’s creditors all get screwed while the partners are allowed to carry on as if nothing happened.

I’m not a socialist or a leftie particularly but this feels like a failure of capitalism.


Mate, this is a WIN for capitalism! All the wealthy folks protect their positions whilst the poorer folks are left out in the cold.

Adam "I trained at Jones Day" Deen

Important question

This means that KWM is no longer a Silver Circle right?


It’s now become a member of the highly niche and prestigious group known as the ‘Brown-stained Ring’ of leading UK shops.

Current members include DWF, Irwin Mitchell and Bond Dickinson.

Adam "I trained at Jones Day" Deen

All three of those rejected my TC applications, so they must be pretty good then!

Hopefully one day I will be good enough to join the magic circle, at a firm like DLA or Eversheds.

Swamp nuts

Rumours have it Hill Dickinson is the new Slaughter and May.

Go bag a TC there before it’s too late!


The Silver Circle has never ever really been a thing. The firms commonly referred to in that grouping are just too wildly different.


HogLove, DLA and Mishcon are more influential firms than BLP these days. Discuss.


Agreed. BLP have been on a seemingly inexorable decline since the Great Recession. Unlike SJB they just got lucky with having less turbokh*nt partners around. That may change in the next 12-18 months.


I think this is an unfair assessment. BLP was never really a SC shop. It’s always been a decent firm though. More of a steady Eddie rather than “inexorable decline”. Big fan of their managing partner too but that’s just me


Ho ho ho bubba.

When I said a week back noone gives a fuck about you, RAGE

Now look at this…. told you so.

Looks like this Firm have taken the oldskool ‘timeshare’ scam business structure. Thanks for yer cash now fuck off. That place is bankrupt.


Aren’t BLP and Ashurst looking shaky? Might be a v small group soon.


So is Herbies. Lots of partners defecting lately, but won’t end up like KWM. Never.

Adam "I tried to train at Jones Day" Deen

Everyone just sell your soul to an investment bank


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