KWM reported to be in merger talks as another team exits

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KWM reported to be in merger talks as another team exits
International firms King & Wood Mallesons and Morgan Lewis are reportedly in merger talks.

Although neither firm has commented on the report by UK website Legal Business, the story is said to have come from a Morgan Lewis partner who said that the two firms have been in discussions on and off for months.

It is not clear whether any tie-up would be restricted to KWM’s Europe, UK and Middle East business which is a separate profit centre and was planning a recapitalization which was delayed by several partner exits in recent weeks.

The source behind the story says that the size of KWM’s Australian business may be a deterrent for a US firm.

Meanwhile, a team from KWM’s London office has left to join Squire Patton Boggs.

Neil Upton, KWM’s former UK and Europe head, and global co-head, of the energy and infrastructure and project finance practice, has joined the rival firm with a legal and business development team of six.
Female partners gaining ground in large firms
The percentage of women making partner in large US law firms has reached a five-year high of 37.3 per cent according to analysis of more than 100 firms.

Data from the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, a think-tank aimed at boosting inclusivity through thought leadership, shows that there has been a steady annual increase in the proportion of female lawyers promoted to partnerships, except for in 2014.

“It is imperative that firms support and develop female talent by providing them opportunities to advance their careers, and creating an inclusive culture where women can advance to leadership positions,” said Manar Morales, President and CEO of the alliance.
Video: HSF lawyers laugh off their stress
A video has appeared on YouTube apparently showing lawyers at Herbert Smith Freehills in Dubai embracing a stress-busting exercise.

The video shows the team practicing “Laughter Yoga” a stress-busting technique attributed to Indian medic Dr. Madan Kataria.