35 Years of Leadership: King Berlew

Published on Dec 12, 2023

King Berlew
Palmer & Dodge (now known as Locke Lord)

Founding Member and WLG President 1989–1991

In World Law Group’s inaugural newsletter, its founder and first president F. Kingston Berlew wrote that the WLG concept was initially considered at an IBA meeting in 1985 and that it was “one of the first serious efforts to create a working international group of leading law firms.” This led to an organizational meeting in London in the Fall of 1987 where representatives of six law firms officially discussed the formation of an international legal network. With a visionary like King leading the way, this group of law firms started World Law Group — one of the first associations of its kind, one that is still thriving today.

The newly formed network hit the ground running during its first few years. King chaired WLG's new International Transactions Practice Group. He also oversaw many other new initiatives, including the Business Development Committee, an internship exchange program, a newsletter, a 24-hour-response-time policy, and semi-annual meetings, among other things. Later, King also coordinated the publication of two WLG books: International Securities Law Handbook and International Business Acquisitions: Legal Issues and Due Diligence.

At the Fall Conference in Leipzig, Germany in 1996, King became the first recipient of the Kemmler Cup (later renamed Kemmler Award), which is the highest honor awarded by the network. Following his retirement, he was invited to address the network for its 25th anniversary celebration in Boston in 2013.

Learn more about King and his World Law Group legacy.