Our History

We opened our first international office over 50 years ago when, in 1962, we were the first law firm from the City of London to open an office in Brussels. Today, we have offices in key financial centres across Asia, Europe and the Middle East and a strong track record of delivering high quality legal services to our clients in some of the fastest growing markets in the world.

The firm at a glance

Use our interactive timeline to take a brief look of our history, or see detailed year by year breakdown below.

Year by year


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  • The firm produced a highly innovative and unique Human Rights Defenders Toolbox for Peace Brigades International (PBI). This is the first centralised online resource for rural communities and lawyers.
  • The firm was named “Investment Funds Law Firm of the Year” at the TopLegal Industry Awards 2018, held in Milan.
  • The Dublin office officially opened for business, reinforcing our position as leading adviser in the Asset Management and Investment Funds sector.
  • The firm launched its Italian Desk in Asia, led by Dario Spinella.
  • The firm was appointed to the UK Government’s Finance and Highly Complex Legal Advice (FaCLS) panel, which provides for legal services to Central Government and its associated bodies, confirming the firm’s strong track record acting for HM Government and wider public sector on complex and high profile matters.
  • The firm became legal partner to FinTech Hive at Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFC), the first-of-its-kind accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
  • Simmons & Simmons Translator named the “most innovative use of technology” at The Lawyer Awards 2017
    The firm joined the Bank of England’s FinTech Accelerator Community.
  • The firm launches Hyperfinance, a flagship research programme which investigates what large banks and asset managers need to do to succeed in accelerating their digital innovation and overcome the challenges they face.
  • Financial services partner Charlotte Stalin named Innovator of the Year at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards and the firm ranked in Top 10 Most Innovative Law Firms in Europe in the accompanying report.
  • Simmons & Simmons LaunchPlus named Legal Product of the Year at The Lawyer Business of Law Awards.
  • Dedicated Innovation Group launched to accelerate the generation, development and adoption of new ways of delivering value to clients.
  • Simmons & Simmons FinTech Fund launched in the UK, the first fund of its kind designed to help early stage FinTech businesses.
  • First law firm ever to be named a Top Global Employer by Stonewall [the charity that works to achieve equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people].


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  • Simmons & Simmons LaunchPlus unveiled, the first dedicated online resource for start-up hedge fund managers in the London market.
  • The firm opens in Luxembourg to broaden its offering to clients in the Asset Management and Financial Institutions sectors.
  • The firm celebrates twenty years on the ground in the Middle East with the twentieth anniversary of its Abu Dhabi office.
  • The firm also expands its presence in the region when our alliance firm in Saudi Arabia, Hammad & Al-Mehdar, opens its second office, in Riyadh.
  • The firm expands its brands and trade mark practice, launching a specialist trade mark practice in China through the establishment of an IP agency which is permitted by Chinese regulations to provide a range of intellectual property related services.
  • Simmons & Simmons and Fasken Martineau enter into an alliance for the purpose of enhancing each firm’s respective African offerings.
  • Our Doha office celebrates its 10th anniversary. Simmons & Simmons was the first international law firm to be granted a licence to operate independently in Qatar with permission to advise on both Qatar and international law matters.
  • Our Singapore office opens to provide a hub to support clients throughout South East Asia. Our fifth office in Asia, it serves clients across our key sectors on cross-border transactions and disputes, and provides English law advice to clients across the South East Asia region.
  • Our third German office opens in Munich, with a focus on patent litigation support for clients in the Life Sciences and TMT sectors, and support for Asset Management & Investment Fund clients.


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  • Simmons & Simmons and Seward & Kissel LLP form an alliance for hedge fund and asset management work, combining the strength in London, New York and Hong Kong to offer a top tier combined service for hedge funds and their managers around the world.
  • Our second UK office in Bristol opens, allowing us to staff matters flexibly in order to deliver greater efficiency to our clients, while maintaining our reputation for excellence.
  • Next generation elexica is launched with enhanced functionality for elexica, navigator and other subscription services.
  • The Beijing office opens, our third office opening in China after Hong Kong (1979) and Shanghai (1995).
  • Ranked in the top tier among international law firms in Legal Week’s Client Satisfaction Report 2010.
  • The partnership converts to LLP status.
  • The firm’s Dutch offices unite in a new office in Amsterdam.
  • The firm announces plans to open a new office in Beijing.



  • elexica celebrates 10 years as a leading legal online service.


  • Middle East - our new office in the Dubai International Finance Centre opens.


  • Winner of Management Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards.
  • Merger with the Madrid firm Mochales & Palacios creates Simmons & Simmons Mochales & Palacios (now Simmons & Simmons in Spain).
  • Amsterdam office opens.
  • Launch of award winning online service Simmons & Simmons navigator – the multijurisdictional guide to global financial regulation.



  • Simmons & Simmons becomes the first international law firm to achieve CarbonNeutral® status across all of its offices worldwide.


  • The firm’s third Middle East office opens in Dubai.


  • The firm’s Qatar office opens in Doha. Simmons & Simmons was the first international law firm to be granted a licence to operate independently in Qatar with permission to advise on both Qatar and international law matters.



  • Merger with leading Dutch law firm Nolst Trenité creates Simmons & Simmons Dutch practice with an office in Rotterdam
    New office opens in Frankfurt.


  • Opening an office in Düsseldorf through local lateral hires.


  • The Madrid office opens.



  • elexica launches on 22 November 1999 as online legal resource and ISP (internet service provider).


  • Our Shanghai office opens.


  • The Abu Dhabi office opens, our first office on the ground in the Middle East.



  • Simmons & Simmons establishes Italian offices in Milan and Rome.


  • Simmons & Simmons is the first City law firm to establish a presence in Portugal, opening in Lisbon, a practice that continues today (in association with Sociedad Rebelo de Sousa).


  • The firm's Paris office opens.



  • Simmons & Simmons opens its first office in Asia, in Hong Kong.


  • Simmons & Simmons is the first City law firm to establish an office in Brussels.


  • Simmons & Simmons is founded in the City of London by twin brothers, Percy and Edward Simmons.