Bird & Bird and Gedda & Ekdahl to Merge

11 October 2000

The First Full Merger Between a UK and a Swedish Law Firm

International law firm, Bird & Bird is to merge with one of Sweden's leading law firms, Gedda & Ekdahl. From December 1 2000, the Stockholm-based firm will assume the name Bird & Bird. The merger will create a significant office, servicing clients in Scandinavia's burgeoning hi- tech economy and is believed to be the first full merger between a UK and a Swedish Law firm.

Bird & Bird's major European rollout began in January 1999, significantly expanding its office in Brussels, followed by Paris in January 2000. The firm, which now has more than 80 lawyers outside the UK in Europe and 250 lawyers in total, experienced a 34% increase in turnover last year.

Gedda & Ekdahl is a 9 partner and 20 lawyer firm with a strong commercial practice and an increasing focus on clients in the communications, IT, media, entertainment and e-commerce sectors. The firm's revenues have increased by some 35% in the first half of this year.

David Kerr, Bird & Bird's Executive Chairman, comments:

"Scandinavia's formidable contribution to the new economy is widely recognised, with a growing number of world-beating Internet and e-commerce companies originating from the region and a strong presence in underlying technology areas. The vibrancy of the e-commerce, communications and IT sectors in Scandinavia is a compelling reason for Bird & Bird's merger with Gedda & Ekdahl, a highly regarded Swedish firm with an impressive IT, entertainment and media client-base."

Michael Frie, Gedda & Ekdahl's Managing Partner, who becomes Managing Partner of the Stockholm office, adds:

"Bird & Bird and Gedda & Ekdahl have had close links for more than 20 years. The synergy between our firms has become increasingly apparent, both in terms of client-base, culture and dedication to quality.

Our objective is simple - to create Europe's premier law firm in these sectors. The Bird & Bird brand already has a powerful resonance in Europe and allied with Gedda & Ekdahl's reputation and resources in Scandinavia, we believe this merger will put us well on the road to realising our goal."

For more information, please contact David Kerr on +44 (0) 20 7415 6000.