UK firm Slaughter & May has drawn up a list of four preferred local firms to work with in Australia as it opts out of its former deal with Allens.
The Lawyer reports that the firm, which had a non-exclusive referral arrangement with Allens Arthur Robinson before its alliance with Linklaters, has chosen Clayton Utz, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Gilbert & Tobin and Minter Ellison as its preferred partners in Australia.
According to the report, the decision was forced upon Slaughter & May when Linklaters made the deal with Allens. It responded by reviewing its relationships with Australian firms.
Slaughter & May was left with fewer choices than it might have had in previous years, with many top Australian firms signing alliances with global firms in the last year.
Slaughters’ new list excludes Freehills, which in June this year confirmed it was merging with Herbert Smith. And that other major firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques allied with China’s King & Wood in December last year, which meant King & Wood Mallesons emerged as a strong competitor to Slaughters in Hong Kong, The Lawyer reports.
Senior partner Chris Saul said the four firms gave Slaughters a broad range of capabilities between them, with the quartet offering differing strength in corporate, antitrust, projects and finance.
He told The Lawyer: “The firms which are still independent include Clayton Utz, Corrs, Gilbert & Tobin and Minter Ellison. That’s a good group with real range and depth of expertise.”