find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Global entrant sounds warning to locals

Global entrant sounds warning to locals

Squire Sanders will look to compete with local firms across all areas of commercial law when it opens in Perth.Squire Sanders global CEO Jim Maiwurm spoke to Lawyers Weekly after it was…

Squire Sanders will look to compete with local firms across all areas of commercial law when it opens in Perth.

Squire Sanders global CEO Jim Maiwurm spoke to Lawyers Weekly after it was announced yesterday (17 August) that the global partnership of the firm had voted to approve its entry into Australia in October. Maiwurm said Squire Sanders would not be targeting "niche" areas in Australia, a strategy that is different from global rivals Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy. The two English Magic Circle firms have deliberately targeted high-end M&A and banking and finance work.

"We are not niche players when we go into places around the world," said Maiwurm. "The Western Australian client base was attractive to us, and the fact that the folks here had a strong, diversified, full-service practice was particularly attractive to us."

Maiwurm added that the increasing economic clout of the Asia-Pacific region was the catalyst for the firm to open an office in Australia.

Squire Sanders has secured 14 of the 19 Minter Ellison partners practicing in Perth. While the Perth arm of Minters traded under the firm's name, it was not a fully integrated part of the firm.

Maiwurm said that while he had "conversations" with other firms about a possible merger, it was the size of the Minters partnership in Perth that was particularly attractive to him.

"We would not have been interested in opening with six partners in Perth," said Maiwurm. "We wanted to have a position that was real, where we were a vital part of the community, and [Minters' Perth practice] made sense for our colleagues and our client base."

The current managing partner of Minters in Perth, John Poulsen, will assume the mantle of the Squire Sanders Australia managing partner in October.

He said that even though he and the other defecting partners had formal discussions with Minters chief executive John Weber about formal integration with the Minters network, the changing nature of the Australian legal market had meant that the prospect of joining a global form became an enticing one.

"During the course of those discussions with Minters, the legal world was changing," said Poulsen. "DLA Piper, Norton Rose, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy had all entered the local market, and it really made us stop and think about not just the current generation at the firm, but also the future generation.

"That made us think global, not national."

In January this year, Squire Sanders merged with UK firm Hammonds, putting it inside the top 25 global law firms by headcount. The firm currently has 36 global offices, which are largely based in the USA and Europe. In the Asia-Pacific, it has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Maiwurm said that while the firm would open in Australia in October, no official start date had been set.

Minters will remain in Perth, with chief executive partner John Weber telling Lawyers Weekly earlier this month that he hoped the four remaining Perth partners would be joined by up to half-a-dozen more partners to open an integrated office in October.

*See Lawyers Weekly 549 for more on this story featuring an extended interview with Jim Maiwurm and John Poulsen

>> Feature story: Western Front: Squire Sanders chief on the firm's Australian strike

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Global entrant sounds warning to locals
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Aug 16 2017
Urgent criminal law reforms can prevent ‘unwarranted acquittals’
Concerns about unfair prejudice arising from the use of tendency and coincidence evidence are mispla...
Aug 15 2017
Press Control-S on your firm
Promoted by BHL Software It’s now a truism that when your IT systems stop working, so does you...
Aug 15 2017
The Importance of Leadership Skills for Aspiring Lawyers
Promoted by LHD Lawyers Even the most prominent lawyers of our age (or ages past, for that matter...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...