A senior partner at Herbert Smith has dismissed talk of a merger with Blake Dawson as "press speculation".
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly on the condition of anonymity, the Asia-based partner said that reports of a merger between the two firms "lacked any substance".
With Allen & Overy, DLA Piper and Clifford Chance entering the Australian market over the space of the last 13 months, speculation has intensified that Australian firms are looking to link up with large global firms like Herbert Smith to sure up their domestic client base.
When Lawyers Weekly asked Blake Dawson if it had entered into merger discussions with Herbert Smith or any other firm, a spokesperson replied that the firm "doesn't comment on rumours in the market".
Herbert Smith did not respond to enquiries from Lawyers Weekly when asked for an official comment.
Last month, Stuart Fuller, who will take over from Robert Milliner as the chief executive partner of Mallesons Stephen Jaques next year, told Lawyers Weekly that his firm was still looking at the possibility of a merger with a global law firm after discussions with Clifford Chance broke down.
"It is a clear part of our strategy to create or join a leading international network," Fuller said at the time. "That has been an aspiration of this firm for as long as I have been a partner. I expect there will be some good opportunities around and we will execute against that strategy."