ALMOST THE entire staff from the old Thailand office of Minter Ellison have chosen to join the firm’s new operation in Bangkok, Lawyers Weekly can now reveal.
In an exclusive interview with Lawyers Weekly, Minter Ellison CEO Phil Clark has confirmed that the firm has incorporated its new operating entity, Siam M.E. Limited, to enable it to conduct its practice there and continue the work with its current clients.
The new operation will carry substantial PI insurance, despite false rumours in the major press to the contrary.
The old office is now in the hands of former Bangkok colleagues, said Clark.
The firm has been unable to reach agreement with the former colleagues, at this point, over what should happen with the previous operating entity, Clark said.
And, despite further rumours in the media, the former operating company has not been liquidated, said Clark.
While The Australian Financial Review reported recently that three former Thai partners are now considering shareholder action against the firm over a dispute that led to the closure of the old office, Clark insists“we’re not aware of any action against the firm, myself, or any other partner”.
Minters has resources enough to be able to respond quickly to the recent changes in Thailand, Clark said.
People from various levels and offices of the firm have responded to the news of change with interest, and some are hoping to become involved in the new Bangkok practice. They include a senior associate from the Hong Kong office, a senior associate from Sydney with significant Asian experience, and the chairman of the firm’s Canberra office, an experienced lawyer who recently spent several months in Bangkok.