Linklaters can trace its history back to 1838 when John Linklater went into partnership with Julius Dods to form the London firm of solicitors, Dods & Linklaters. The firm merged with Paine, Blyth & Huxtable in 1920 to create Linklaters & Paines.
Linklaters & Paines first opened offices in Milan (1962), New York (1972), Brussels (1973), Paris (1973), Hong Kong (1976), Tokyo (1987), Singapore (1992), Frankfurt (1992), Moscow (1992), São Paulo (1997), Bangkok (1998), Shanghai (1998) and Madrid (1999).
In 1998, Linklaters & Paines formed Linklaters & Alliance with four leading European law firms and by 2002 it had merged with De Bandt, van Hecke, Lagae & Loesch (Belgium and Luxembourg), Lagerlöf & Leman (Sweden) and Oppenhoff & Rädler (Germany), with the firm rebranding to Linklaters.
It has continued to open offices, including: Beijing (2002), Lisbon (2002), Dubai (2006), Düsseldorf (2007) and Abu Dhabi (2011). In 2012, Linklaters formed an integrated alliance with Allens of Australia, and in 2013, it formed a collaborative alliance with Webber Wentzel of South Africa.