KWM History

King & Wood Mallesons was born out of an ambitious idea – a belief that the world needed a top tier international law firm headquartered in Asia, the 21st century new engine room of the global economy.

What started as a vision became a reality in 2012 when one of Australia’s oldest and most respected firms Mallesons Stephen Jacques combined with China’s top tier firm, King & Wood in a game changing move for the international legal market. Together they created a new breed of global law firm – a regional Asian powerhouse, with a unique international platform and fusion of perspectives – bold, entrepreneurial and looking outwards.

Established in 1993, King & Wood is one of China’s first partnership law firms that provide foreign-related legal services and one of the first Chinese firms to open offices overseas. Since its establishment, the Firm has been playing a leading role, contributing to the progress of the rule of law in China and providing professional legal services for multinational companies to invest in China and the Chinese companies “going global”.

Mallesons Stephen Jacques originated in 1832 in Western Australia. In 1987 we established the first truly national, integrated law firm in Australia when Stephen Jaques Stone James merged with Mallesons. We were then one of the first Australian firms to internationalise with the establishment of our first London office more than 40 years ago and first Hong Kong office over 30 years ago.

From our deep Chinese roots and our Australian origins, we’re now a leading international law firm with 28 offices across China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Europe, the United States and the Middle East.

We have never lost our entrepreneurial spirit and drive for innovation and we will continue to challenge our clients and our competitors to think differently about what a law firm can be today, tomorrow and beyond.