A&O-Shearman mega merger given go-ahead by partners

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By Thomas Connelly on


Over 99% approval

The global mega merger between Allen & Overy (A&O) and Shearman & Sterling will go ahead following a successful partner vote, it emerged this afternoon.

In a joint statement the outfits said more than 99% of the votes cast at each firm were in favour of the tie-up. The voting period ran from 28 September to 13 October.

The firms said they will now embark on a period of “active integration planning” with a view to offically combining in or before May 2024.

The deal will create a new legal giant with 3,950 lawyers, including 800 partners, across 48 offices and approximately £2.8 billion in combined revenues. In terms of rookie recruitment, Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List 2024 shows A&O and Shearman offer around 80 and 12 training contracts each year, respectively.

The firms first went public with their intentions to merge in May of this year. The new outfit will be called Allen Overy Shearman Sterling, or A&O Shearman for short.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Commenting on the successful vote, 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 favor 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.”

Shearman senior partner Adam Hakki added: “Our partners have recognized and welcomed this unparalleled opportunity to combine our individual market leadership and brands to serve clients as an integrated global law firm, preeminent 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.”



very nice. great success. i like


so S&S lawyers are gonna have to decrease their salaries to match A&O?

Legal eek

There’s this thing called TUPE, it’s really cool you should check it out!


Very debated if TUPE applies to LLPs btw, it’s never technically been decided, but TUPE defines employee differently to other acts (like the Employment Rights Act 1996, and there is no reference to the broader category of “worker” as there is elsewhere)


LLP owns PLC. PLC employs staff. TUPE applies.

Piper Hard

I’m so excited for this ‘new breed’ of law firm.


In a statement A&O described Shearman as “desperate” and “going cheap” whilst Shearman described merging with A&O as “better than insolvency” and “humiliating but unavoidable”.

A&O Senior Partner Wim Degonhe said the combined firm would be known as “Allen & Overy” and the tight bond between the firms was demonstrated by “the fact some of the same letters are in Shearman and Sterling”.

Shearman Senior Partner Adam Hakki said he was “delighted” and “keen to speak to recruiters”.

Comedy appreciator

This was fantastic do some more


still think the best name should have been ASSO


In between the announcement and the vote, Shearman has become effectively non-existent in MENA, is vastly shrunken in East Asia (including losing its entire Seoul office) and has lost almost all its big-hitter partners and about a third of its associates in London. A&O is acquiring a turn-key NYC office…and that’s about it.


Transactional teams pretty decimated in shearman London but still a couple of good advisory teams left

Comedy appreciator

Hey!! That’s not true! There’s the name change too! A


That’s for members of the LLP, i.e. the partners. Employees of LLPs are very definitely covered.

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