International law firms Herbert Smith and Freehills recently announced their planned merger to create a new firm, Herbert Smith Freehills. The new firm will focus on providing an integrated service to clients across its 20 offices. The full equity merger will create a single profit pool from day one, which is targeted for 1 October.
The 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, with representatives from both firms on its management and governance bodies.
Willis told China Business Law Journal about developments leading up to the merger. “Freehills is widely acknowledged as one of the top three firms in Australia, and we have had a good relationship with them for a number of years,” he said. “Our regular contact and clear cultural affinity naturally developed into an ongoing conversation about our shared vision and priorities for the future, which ultimately led to the formal decision to go ahead with a full equity merger.”