Blake Dawson is becoming increasingly eager to formalise a merger with global firm Ashurst as speculation about its impending arrival in Australia intensifies.
Sources close to the firm told Lawyers Weekly that Blake Dawson is hoping to secure a tie-up with the UK giant as soon as possible.
However, conjecture exists as to whether Ashurst will opt to merge with Blake Dawson or instead adopt a strategy more in line with Allen & Overy Australia, which saw the firm cherry pick partners and practice groups from Clayton Utz and start out on its own.
This speculation is no doubt fuelled by Ashurst's history, which shows that growth across Europe, the USA and the Asia-Pacific has been largely organic rather than through merger or acquisition.
Ashurst has only ever acquired one firm, which was Sweden's AJB Bergh Advokatbyrå AB in 2007.
The Lawyer reported last week that Ashurst partners are set to vote on a tie-up in early September and that there are certain factions within the firm that are not happy about the prospect of a merger.
Blake Dawson declined to comment when contacted by Lawyers Weekly.