Blake Dawson will soon be known as Ashurst under plans to merge the two firms by 2014.
Announced today (26 September) following months of speculation, Ashurst and Blakes will combine their businesses in Asia and merge their operations globally, under the Ashurst brand.
The merger announcement follows a positive vote of both partnerships, which took place on 23 September.
The combining of the firms' Asian practices and the rebranding of Blake Dawson is planned to take effect by March 2012, while the full merger is conditional on a further vote of the partnerships. According to a statement released by Blake Dawson, the merger will be considered in early 2014.
"There is great deal of synergy between Ashurst and Blake Dawson in terms of practice area expertise and growth strategy," said Ashurst senior partner, Charlie Geffen. "We are confident that the initial combination will materially strengthen our businesses in the Asia-Pacific region and also allow us to create significant momentum in achieving our goal of being among a small group of premier global firms."
Blake Dawson chairman Mary Padbury [pictured] said combining the firm's operations with Ashurst will help deliver a "greatly expanded international capability" and "exciting career prospects" for Blake Dawson staff.
Ashurst's Geoffrey Green, a partner of the firm since 1979, has been appointed as chair of the combined Asian business.
"Our firms have worked together successfully in Asia for nearly 10 years," said Green. "The combination is a natural development of our relationship, giving Ashurst scale and depth of resource in Asia."
Ashurst currently has 230 partners and 900 lawyers, bringing in A$462 million of revenue in 2011.
See Lawyers Weekly for updates on this story, inlcuding interviews with Blakes chair Mary Padbury and managing partner John Carrington, as well as an interview with Danny Gilbert to hear what their competitiors are saying