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What’s in a name: One year on King & Wood Mallesons drops SJ Berwin

King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin will cut the SJ Berwin from its name on 1 November, a year after merging with the UK firm.

After the merger, which bolted the £184m revenue SJ Berwin onto the Sino-Australian firm to create a $1bn powerhouse headquartered in Asia, the firm marketed itself as the bulky King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin in Europe, where the firm has offices in Belgium, France and Italy, as well as the UK, while undertaking a brand integration process. Everywhere else, the firm continued to be known as KWM.

A firm spokesperson said: ‘We said when we combined with King & Wood Mallesons back in 2013, that we would move towards being called King & Wood Mallesons globally, once we were happy that we’d successfully transitioned the brand. 1 November marks our one year anniversary, our clients globally have responded very positively to the new firm, and therefore we’re confident that we’re ready to adopt the one firm name across all markets.’

The name change comes as the London office has gone through a state of upheaval in recent months, with Rob Day surprising the market by announcing he will step down from his role as KWM SJB’s head of EMEA on 1 May 2015. Co-head of UK real estate William Boss will replace Day, taking up a three-year term next summer. Stephen Kon, who has been a partner at SJ Berwin since 1998 and led the firm through the merger, was re-elected as senior partner and will serve a fresh three-year term alongside Boss.

The firm also saw the departure last month of Steven Davis, who led SJ Berwin’s City corporate team before the merger, for Proskauer Rose, whose own merger plans with SJ Berwin collapsed before the City firm looked eastwards for growth.