find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Global firms no threat to us: Allens

Global firms no threat to us: Allens

The arrival of Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance has not made a big dent in the Australian legal market, according to a senior partner at Allens Arthur Robinson.Allens North Asia and…

The arrival of Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance has not made a big dent in the Australian legal market, according to a senior partner at Allens Arthur Robinson.

Allens North Asia and corporate head Paul Quinn told Lawyers Weekly that the larger headcount of top-tier firms in Australia as opposed to their UK rivals has meant that they have been able to hang on to the majority of their clients.

"We have not seen a significant impact from Allen & Overy or Clifford Chance in Australia because they don't have the scale that we have," said Quinn. "In Australia, we don't see them as a significant threat yet."

This week it was announced that Warwick Painter, a partner at Allens for more than 10 years, had joined DLA Piper. Despite Painter stating that his defection "gives me the opportunity to become part of a global business law firm", Quinn doesn't believe this signals a more broad desire of partners at top-tier law firms looking to move to global firms.

"It is a competitive market, and we feel that other firms have been hit a lot harder then us," said Quinn. "Partners moving firms is part of the competitive landscape."

Quinn added that Allens had been competing with global firms in the Asia-Pacific region for many years. He said that his firm's strategy in Asia focused on energy and resources, which he believes differentiates Allens from Australian rivals such as Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Minter Ellison that also have offices in mainland China and Hong Kong.

"Other Australian firms might have bigger offices in the region as compared to us, but they don't have the Asia-Pacific network that we have," he said. "We are targeting regional work in energy and resources, which we think is a major growth area for the firm."

Allens counts Rio Tinto as a client and last month it was appointed to the Business Council of Mongolia, a region attracting increasing interest from law firms.

This week, Allens announced that special counsel Kate Axup would relocate to Beijing to be the firm's chief representative in the Chinese capital. It was also revealed that special counsel Steve Potter and lawyer Ainsley Reid, both energy and resources specialists, would move from Australia to Singapore, bringing the firm's total number of lawyers in that office to 20.

"We see our competitive advantage in the region as being the depth of our client base and skills in energy and resources," Quinn said.

In discussing the long-term future of Allens, Quinn said that although "lots of foreign firms had knocked on the firm's door", no formal discussions about a merger with a global law firm have taken place. However, he said you "never say never".

"The market is very fluid," he said. "We will look at what is best for us and our clients. We have an open mind about it."

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 firms no threat to us: Allens
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Consultation
06:04
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
IBA
06:03
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
Queensland University of Technology, ruby milestone
06:00
Queensland law school reaches ruby milestone
Celebrating 40 years since establishing a law course in 1977, the Queensland University of Technolog...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...