AUSTRALIAN LAW firms are proving competitive on the global stage in the infrastructure market thanks to a plethora of such work back home in recent years, according to Freehills managing partner Gavin Bell.
Bell, chief executive officer and managing partner of Freehills, told Lawyers Weekly in an exclusive interview that leading Australian law firms were exporting their services around the globe thanks to some solid home grown experience.
As well as riding on the coat-tails of their blue chip clients involved in the construction of roads, utilities and other major infrastructure projects, Australian firms are winning work with overseas clients and in some surprising places.
“Some of the infrastructure work that some of the Australian firms have been doing in recent years here gives them a much better CV than their corresponding firms overseas. The amount of infrastructure work that we’ve done here is remarkable. For example, Macquarie Bank went to Korea and exported their toll road expertise because there’s been so many toll roads in Australia,” he said.
Bell says that Australian lawyers are as good as any in the world and Australian firms are gaining a competitive advantage from travelling with clients.
“If you look at what we’ve done in the last year, we’ve done major transactions on every continent bar Antarctica … We’ve done three transactions in Chile. If you’d asked me three or four years ago, it would not have been a country where I thought we’d have done a lot of work,” said Bell.
See the profile of Gavin Bell, Fuji Xerox Australian Law Awards winner, on page 40 this week.