Why are Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling planning to merge?
This combination accelerates the growth and ambition of Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling overnight, as clients continue to gravitate toward truly global firms. By combining our individual market leadership and brands, we can bring a seamless offer across geographies to tackle clients’ most complex issues.
This merger represents an unparalleled opportunity to combine our individual market leadership and brands to serve clients as an integrated global law firm, preeminent in all our markets.
What differentiates the combined firm from its competitors?
A&O Shearman will be the only firm fluent in U.S. law, English law and the laws of the world's most dynamic markets in equal measure.
We will bring to bear unparalleled experience, some of the greatest legal talent, and complementary areas of market leadership.
What are the distinct benefits of the merger for Shearman & Sterling and Allen & Overy?
For Allen & Overy, the planned merger will create a $1 billion U.S. business, with the Shearman & Sterling brand ensuring increased board-level recognition and expanded access to a U.S. corporate client base.
Shearman & Sterling will gain access to an expanded ‘rest of the world’ offering across Finance, Corporate, Capital Markets, and Litigation, as well as market-leading expertise in Advanced Delivery & Solutions.
The combined firm will be perfectly positioned to capitalize on opportunities arising from macro trends globally, including those relating to energy transition, technology and private capital.
The merger will transform both businesses, enabling us to deploy the power of each of our firms, accelerating our ability to bring the best of both to meet client needs.
What does the planned merger mean for clients?
Together, we believe A&O Shearman will be a firm unlike any other in the world. Our new scale will transform our ability to offer a truly integrated global service. We have listened to our clients’ feedback and requests for counsel to help navigate the demands they are facing in such a complex regulatory, technological and geopolitical environment, and we believe A&O Shearman will meet these needs.
Operationally, until we complete the merger, it remains business as usual at both firms. We remain focused on delivering the highest quality advice and our clients continue to be our top priority. As the merger progresses towards completion, clients will of course be provided full details on any changes.
What will be the strategy of the combined firm moving forward?
Our strategy will be to serve our clients globally on their most critical challenges, transactions, and disputes. This merger represents an unparalleled opportunity to combine our individual market leadership and brand strength to represent clients as an integrated global law firm, preeminent in all our markets.
What is the approach to checking for conflicts of interest?
We have been undertaking a review to identify potential conflicts, and this exercise will continue as we work towards combining our firms. We are planning for how any identified potential conflicts that require management or resolution should be handled, including (where and when appropriate and permitted) communicating with relevant clients. We have not identified and do not anticipate a significant number of issues.
We work with Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling currently - who should I contact with new instructions?
We encourage you to speak with your relationship partner about what the merger might mean for you. Until we have completed the transaction, we will operate as separate firms, always in a way that best serves the interests of our clients.
When is the transaction expected to close?
Partners at both firms have voted to approve the merger to create A&O Shearman. The current target date for the merger to be completed is by May 2024, subject to closing conditions as well as regulatory approvals and clearances.
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