This week Herbert Smith Freehills completed its full equity merger, agreed by the partnerships of the legacy firms in June.
David Willis and Gavin Bell will be the joint CEOs of the new firm.
“The creation of Herbert Smith Freehills gives us the opportunity to provide clients with the type of capability they increasingly value — a leading origin-to-destination service across a single global platform,” said Willis.
“A key priority for us will be further international expansion. We recognise that the firm’s global reach, when combined with our industry sector strengths and balance of disputes and transactional expertise, will be the foundation on which we can build strong and deep client relationships.”
Freehills brings to the table its leading position in Australasia, while Herbert Smith offers an international network that spans the northern hemisphere.
“This merger reflects the changing global landscape and the rebalancing of world economies,” said Bell. “Over the next decade Asia-Pacific will increasingly become the engine room of the world economy, and as the leading integrated firm in the region we will be ideally placed to help our clients take advantage of that.”
The new firm now has 2,800 lawyers, including 460 partners, making it the world’s eighth-largest law firm based on total lawyer numbers.
Since the merger was agreed, Herbert Smith has opened a new office in New York and has confirmed plans for Herbert Smith Freehills to establish a presence in Germany, South Korea and Francophone sub-Saharan Africa in 2013.