Legal Business

Sum of its parts: can King & Wood Mallesons match the hype?

After a promising first year for King & Wood Mallesons/SJ Berwin, its UK practice saw a bruising 12 months. Tom Moore reports on its efforts to regain the initiative.

The first 12 months of SJ Berwin’s merger with King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) seemed plain sailing. The expected fallout that often occurs after such a transformative merger hadn’t materialised, with just a handful of partner exits amounting to no more than the average churn at a big law firm. The partnership was supportive of the merger, which went live in November 2013. There were few abstentions and disputes partner Tim Taylor QC even starred in a high-energy dance routine in a Dubai swimming pool to celebrate the merger, becoming a minor viral hit in the process.