Legal Business

A&O Shearman is a marriage of necessity, not convenience

The most enjoyable part of analysing the proposed merger of Allen & Overy (A&O) and Shearman & Sterling has been hearing the reactions of leaders at peer firms to the video featuring senior partners Wim Dejonghe and Adam Hakki.

Hot-takes from around the City have been often amusing. Says one US firm leader: ‘It’s clearly not a merger, is it? It’s a takeover of Shearman by A&O, isn’t it?’ And it certainly does feel like A&O’s Dejonghe is in the driving seat of what is undeniably a slick pitch, even if it does, at times, look like Hakki is in a hostage situation.