08/02/2010 - 12:57

WA Clayton Utz partners join UK firm

08/02/2010 - 12:57

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London law firm Allen & Overy is making an aggressive entry into the Australian market by recruiting 17 partners from Clayton Utz, including three from that firm's Perth office.

London law firm Allen & Overy is making an aggressive entry into the Australian market by recruiting 17 partners from Clayton Utz, including three from that firm's Perth office.

Clayton Utz's Perth partner-in-charge Geoff Simpson, along with partners Peter Wilkes and Meredith Campion, have agreed to establish Allen & Overy's Perth office.

Allen & Overy's move into Australia represents a seismic shift in the legal market, as it is the first of London's "magic circle" law firms to establish a presence in this country.

Equally interesting is Allen & Overy's decision to open offices in Sydney and Perth, but not Melbourne or Brisbane.

In a statement, the firm said "analysis of the local market indicates there is space in the Australian legal sector for a smaller high-end law firm that is integrated into a broad global network".

Its core practices will be in energy, mining and natural resources; finance; infrastructure; investment funds; M&A; private equity; tax; and telecoms, media and technology (TMT).

Allen & Overy describes itself as "one of a small group of truly international and integrated law firms with approximately 5,000 staff, including over 450 partners, working in 31 major centres worldwide". Its Asian offices include Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Along with Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Slaughter May and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy is one of five "magic ciricle" law firms in London. None of these firms has previously had a direct presence in Australia.

Mr Simpson was joint head of Clayton Utz's national energy & resouces group and advised on M&A, corporate advisory and equity capital markets issues.

Mr Wilkes practises in the areas of debt and equity financing, corporate and commercial projects, and mergers and acquisitions

Ms Campion practises in the areas of corporate, commercial and energy and resources law.

In a statement released today, Clayton Utz said fourteen partners have tendered their resignations to join Allen & Overy. This statement evidently refers only to the departing Sydney partners and not the Perth partners.

Clayton Utz chief executive partner David Fagan said while he was disappointed at the departures, the firm was in great shape and would continue to deliver the exceptional service clients had come to expect.

"Partner movements such as this occur in the lifecycle of a firm. Clayton Utz is in excellent shape and continues to be one of the strongest performing firms in the market," said Mr Fagan.

Mr Fagan said the Australian legal market remained one of the most competitive in the world and Clayton Utz was committed to continuing to build on the strong market position it had established over the last few years.

The Allen & Overy statement is pasted below:

Allen & Overy strengthens Asia-Pacific presence with Australian launch

LONDON - Allen & Overy today announces the launch of its Australian practice with the appointment of 17 new partners, 14 based in Sydney and three in Perth, significantly bolstering its capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Commenting, Allen & Overy senior partner David Morley said: "Our decision to launch in Australia underlines the increasing importance of Australia in the global and Asia-Pacific economies. We see significant opportunities for high-end, cross-border M&A and finance work in the private and public sectors, particularly in the energy, mining and natural resources sectors."
"As Australia develops closer ties with its major trading partners, especially across the Asia-Pacific region, and as Australian banks and corporates continue to expand globally there is growing demand for legal advice that can seamlessly support that growth around the world. Our global network puts us in the perfect position to be able to do just that."
Analysis of the local market indicates there is space in the Australian legal sector for a smaller high-end law firm that is integrated into a broad global network. The core practices will be in energy, mining and natural resources; finance; infrastructure; investment funds; M&A; private equity; tax; and telecoms, media and technology (TMT).
Thomas Brown, Allen & Overy's Asia-Pacific managing partner, added: "Our expansion into Australia not only provides opportunities to develop new client relationships, it also enables us to service the needs of our existing clients in another key market and adopt a fully integrated approach to the Asia-Pacific region."
"This move also improves access to the deep pool of high quality lawyers that exists in the Australian legal market, making this the logical next step in our plans to expand our global network."

The founding partners of Allen & Overy's Australian practice are:

Sydney office
Jason Denisenko, partner in the Corporate/Funds and Financial Products practice
Angela Flannery, partner in the Banking practice
Grant Fuzi, partner in the Banking practice
Sonia Goumenis, partner in the Banking/Structured Capital Markets practice
Jason Huinink, partner in the Banking practice
Barry Irwin, partner in the Corporate/Energy & Resources practice
Aaron Kenavan, partner in the Corporate/M&A practice
Grant Koch, partner in the Corporate/Private Equity practice
Michael Parshall, partner in the Corporate/M&A practice
Karolina Popic, partner in the Banking/Structured Capital Markets practice
Michael Reede, partner in the Corporate/Private Equity practice
Chris Robertson, partner in the Banking practice
Andrew Stals, partner in the Corporate/Tax practice
David Wilkie, partner in the Corporate/Funds and Infrastructure practice

Perth office
Meredith Campion, partner in the Corporate/Energy & Resources practice
Geoff Simpson, partner in the Corporate/Energy & Resources practice
Peter Wilkes, partner in the Corporate/Energy & Resources and also Banking practice

 

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