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
Merger made in Mornington

Merger made in Mornington

The merger between Blake Dawson and Ashurst has its genesis in a lunch on the Mornington Peninsula.In early January, the London-based senior Ashurst partner Charlie Geffen was on holidays in…

The merger between Blake Dawson and Ashurst has its genesis in a lunch on the Mornington Peninsula.

In early January, the London-based senior Ashurst partner Charlie Geffen was on holidays in Victoria and met Blake Dawson chairman Mary Padbury for lunch.

"We had an expansive discussion at lunch," Padbury told Lawyers Weekly. "From that, the senior leadership of both firms got involved and we formed a working group, with lots of discussions and visits both ways until the merger was announced."

Padbury said Blakes only talked to Ashurst about a merger after that initial lunch with Geffen.

Under the terms of the merger, Blake Dawson will trade under the Ashurst name in Australia and the Asia-Pacific from March 2012, with a full merger occurring by 2014. That means existing jurisdictions in which both firms operate, such as Tokyo, the Blakes staff will move across to the Ashurst offices and in Singapore, the Blakes staff will move to new offices with their Ashurst counterparts next year.

Blake Dawson managing partner John Carrington told Lawyers Weekly that the decision to stagger the merger was based, in part, on the desirability to move to a shared partnership profit pool.

"The complexity of the merger meant that was the best option," said Carrington. "We operate in five jurisdictions outside Australia and they operate in 15 different jurisdictions outside of London.

"This means that a number of different regulatory and tax issues needed to be addressed, and we are also aiming to have a single partnership profit pool."

On current numbers, the merged firm will have 442 partners, of which the majority (230) will come from Ashurst.

Ashurst also brings a bigger war-chest to the table, with revenue of just over $460 million spread across its 16 offices, while Blake Dawson has revenue of $380 million from its 10 offices.

Despite entering the Australian market with a radically different model to its UK rivals Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy, which cherry-picked partners from established Australian firms, Ashurst will also be targeting the upper-end of the commercial legal market.

Blakes, whose powerbase largely comes from energy and resources work with a client list that includes BHP, will be able to utilise the financial services expertise of Ashurst.

High-end M&A, dispute resolution and projects and infrastructure work will also be a focus for the merged firm.

"Globalisation is occurring at such a rate that there will be a number of premium global firms and we wanted to build on that," said Padbury.

Ashurst's Geoffrey Green, a partner of the firm since 1979, has been appointed as chair of the combined Asian business.

Green will be based in Hong Kong.

John Carrington will carry over his role at Blakes to be the Australian managing partner of Ashurst.

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

Merger made in Mornington
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Oct 23 2017
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...
Oct 23 2017
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...
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 & ...