Edwards Gibson Director quoted in Bloomberg Law's article ''A&O Shearman Merger Shock Waves Ripple Through UK’s Magic Circle'' by Roy Stern

May 2024


Bloomberg Law’s recent article titled ‘A&O Shearman Merger Shock Waves Ripple Through UK’s Magic Circle’ by Roy Stern quotes Director Scott Gibson.


The article explores the declining ‘sparkle’ of Magic Circle law firms as they struggle to keep up with the larger and more profitable US Law firms. Stern purports that the finalised A&O Shearman merger underscores that shift and quotes Gibson’s analysis that ‘‘The problem for UK firms is that there is only so much truly premium local legal work around’’ and that ‘’As long as US private equity continues to drive the market, the rest of the UK global elite will keep trying to break the US. They have no choice if they want to stay elite.’’ The rest of Stern’s article delves into the nuanced responses and strategies implemented by Freshfields, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, and Slaughter & May in light of the inevitable US private equity influenced market and their varying degrees of emphasis on US expansion and strategic positioning to keep their ‘elite status’. The article overall highlights that, in line with Scott Gibson’s assertion, despite differing strategies, all Magic Circle firms face the imperative of adapting to US dominance and evolving client preferences, which now, may increasingly favour larger and more internationally focused players.




Read the full article by Bloomberg Law here