Lawyers will talk expressionism, cubism and possibly a few other things when Mallesons Stephen Jaques marks its official merger with Chinese law firm King & Wood at a private viewing of the Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW next week.
Mallesons will officially tie the knot with the Beijing-based King & Wood later this month, with the merged entity to boast 380 partners, 1800 lawyers and, in the firm's own words, create a "legal powerhouse centred in Asia".
Interestingly, the two firms have hardly been powerful together in the past. As UK publication The Lawyer highlighted last week, the two firms have little history when it comes to co-counselling.
According to Thomson Reuters data, of 740 transactions recorded between 2007 and 2011 that involved Mallesons, and the 72 that involved King & Wood, not one of them involved the two firms acting on the same deal.
The data shows King & Wood actually worked with two other Australian firms while it was negotiating with Mallesons to get together in the second half of 2011 -- Freehills and Minter Ellison.
The international firm Mallesons worked with the most during the recorded period was the one it was long expected to ultimately celebrate the "power of together" with via an official merger, Clifford Chance.