KWM hardship fund raises over £100,000 as China and Australia lawyers match European donations

A ‘hardship’ fund set up to support former King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) staff has raised more than £100,000, with around 20 beneficiaries receiving payments this week.

About £50,000 was contributed by former KWM Europe and Middle East (EUME) partners, while KWM’s Australia and China arms matched the amount raised with a joint contribution.

The fund was launched earlier this year by former EUME managing partner Tim Bednall and London partners David Wilman and Darren Roiser.

It was created to support staff who were on or due to start maternity leave at the time of the firm’s collapse; those who have been unable to find new jobs; and those caring for ill dependents or suffering from illness themselves.

Between 80 and 100 former KWM EUME partners were asked to contribute between £1,000 and £2,500 to the fund in May. They were informed that the donations “should enable us to provide material assistance to those who require it”.

The fund remains open, should any further contributions be made.

Yesterday (2 August), KWM announced the appointment of its first EUME managing partner since relaunching in the region after the collapse of the legacy SJ Berwin business. M&A partner Wang Rongkang, who has been at the firm since 1998, is relocating from China to London to take up the new role.

Wilman, the firm’s EUME general counsel, was recently made up to partner alongside corporate counsel Barri Mendelsohn. The two promotions mark the firm’s first additions to its UK partnership since it relaunched its EUME business in January.

Wilman has been closely involved in the wind-down of the former EUME business following its collapse into administration this January.