Partners at one of Birmingham’s top law firms have given their seal of approval to a proposed merger with a giant US law practice.

From January 1 next year Hammonds LLP in Birmingham will trade as Squire, Sanders, Hammonds as part of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP after partners from both firms backed the merger.

With approximately 1,275 lawyers in 37 offices and 17 countries, Squire Sanders will be among the top 25 global legal practices, based on number of lawyers. Squire Sanders chair James J. Maiwurm will be global chief executive officer and chair while Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley will be managing partner for Europe. The combined firm will be structured as a Swiss Verein and governed by a 13-person global board elected by the partners.

“The pace of the business world is accelerating, said Mr Maiwurm. “Clients expect their law firms to embrace change and seize opportunity even in a challenging business climate. We hear our clients and know they consider cost-effective global counsel the norm, not the exception. The combination of our firms is designed for the times and positioned for the future. We will continue to seek bold solutions for clients wherever their business takes them, and we will do this in a collaborative fashion that makes us both an inviting place to work and a great choice for clients.”

Mr Crossley added: “Clients currently working with lawyers from both legacy firms are enthusiastic about the combination’s expanded practice expertise, industry knowledge, regional strength and global reach. We are delighted to report that clients’ reactions reflect what we concluded after we began discussions with Squire Sanders. Simply put, we are better together.”