Legal Business

SJ Berwin’s high stakes tie-up with KWM dares to bring a new equation to global law

David Stevenson and Alex Novarese assess SJ Berwin’s audacious Asia-Pacific tie-up and ask if the union can truly propel the firm into the global premier league

‘This isn’t about doing anything with our backs against the wall,’ says Jonathan Blake, the former senior partner of SJ Berwin, and one of the architects of his 165-partner firm’s impending tie-up with King & Wood Mallesons (KWM).

Despite some well publicised reverses in recent years for the mid-pack City player, Blake’s comment is undoubtedly true. But as to what the deal that goes live on 1 November does signify, well, opinion is sharply and starkly divided.