King & Wood Mallesons (China) and Eversheds Sutherland sign referral deal
It will enable the two law firms to provide legal advice to numerous clients
King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), China, and Eversheds Sutherland have entered a formal agreement to refer work to one another in key markets.
Under the alliance terms, Eversheds will refer clients needing legal advice in China to KWM’s China branch. This way, Eversheds gains access to mainland China, and KWM ceases its operations in Europe and East Asia. The latter will refer all clients requiring legal advice in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America, to Eversheds.
By 31 October 2024, KWM China will wind down its offices in the UK, Europe and the Middle East with its lawyers and staff expected to join Eversheds’ offices in those regions.
The decision is likely to impact KWM’s current lawyers in offices in the UK (11 in London), Germany (18 in Frankfurt), Spain (19 in Madrid), Italy (2 in Milan), Belgium (1 in Brussels), and the UAE (3 in Dubai).
However, the alliance will not affect the operations of Eversheds’ offices in the US and China.
About its clients, Lee Ranson, the chief executive of Eversheds stated, “They have increasingly complex needs for PRC legal advice in China. The new arrangement creates the platform to deliver a solution of the very highest calibre and adds strength to our European and Middle East businesses.”
Wang Junfeng, the global chair, and founding Partner of KWM China commented, “The demand for international legal services has increased and diversified at pace, and Eversheds Sutherland (International) is an ideal fit for our clients with its extensive worldwide network.”
Earlier, in 2013, KWM had established a European presence through a merger with London-founded SJ Berwin. However, within four years, the arrangement derailed following high-profile Partner exits and the European entity failed to secure a bailout from its Asia arm.
Eversheds operates in over 70 offices in more than 30 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the US, with more than 3,000 lawyers.