Clifford Chance merges with Australian firms

21 Feb, 2011

Clifford Chance has merged with two boutique Australian firms, marking the second foray by a major English firm into the country this year.

The magic circle firm will merge with Sydney firm Chang, Pistilli & Simmons, and with Perth firm Cochrane Lishman Carson Luscombe. The combined operation, which takes on the Clifford Chance name, will add 14 partners to the firm’s network.

Clifford Chance said that it plans to double revenues in the region in four years, as part of ambitious growth plans.

National firm DLA Piper announced a merger with its Australian associate firm DLA Phillips Fox at the end of January.

Peter Charlton, head of Asia at Clifford Chance, said: ‘Any credible growth strategy for the Asian legal market can no longer ignore the importance of the Australian market to the region, both as a destination for, and a source of, investment.

‘With over 30 years’ experience in the region, the firm has a strong foundation on which to build an enhanced network, capable of servicing the growth in business out of and into Asia.

‘We’ll be investing in people, places and new client relationships to ensure we can support the region’s growth with quality talent that truly understands Asia business.’

Clifford Chance managing partner David Childs said: ‘Our ability to respond to the internationalisation of the corporate world, and that of our clients’ businesses, has underpinned Clifford Chance’s strategy and success over the past 30 years.

‘As globalisation enters a new phase, the balance of economic power – and our clients’ attention – is shifting to Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. We need to continue to evolve our business to reflect these bigger changes, as witnessed by this important move in Australia.

‘We expect to see this investment gather pace over the coming year, with further announcements of plans to support our strategy.’

Clifford Chance has already announced plans to open in Qatar and Turkey this year. Last year it overtook Linklaters as the biggest UK law firm by revenues.

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