As a firm, we look to the future rather than to the past. So, while the roots of Clifford Chance stretch back to the City of London of the early 1800s, our story is more about a series of moments when we changed the legal landscape.
In 1987, today's Clifford Chance came into being when successful London firms Coward Chance and Clifford Turner merged to form the pre-eminent law firm in Europe, taking the legal world by storm. The merger was predicated on the shared belief that the world's leading organisations would seek legal advice that was able to look beyond borders or narrow areas of expertise.
Then, in 2000, Clifford Chance undertook a major international tripartite merger with Germany's Pünder Volhard Weber & Axster and New York-based Rogers & Wells. The combination of the three firms' geographic footprint and breadth of expertise created the world's first global law firm. To this day, we remain the only non-franchise law firm with real breadth and depth of expertise across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East.
Focusing on the future and anticipating evolving client needs is not only about understanding where clients will want legal advice but also about how they want that service delivered. During the past few years, Clifford Chance has been at the forefront of developments that have changed fundamentally the management of law firms – from the adoption of IT systems and sophisticated document management processes to investment in 'best-in-class' learning and development to creation of efficient and cost-effective offshore legal support, administrative, business research and technology centres.
But whatever changes we have anticipated in the past are nothing compared with those that lie ahead of us. Our sights are set firmly on staying in the vanguard of the legal industry as it evolves to meet the demands of a more complex, faster changing, more connected world.