International firms entering the Australian market

Since the formidable GFC, there has been a shift in the Australian market inclusive of several key international players entering the market to provide support to local organisations. With the importance of face – to – face representation so significant within the legal sphere, it should be no surprise that the law sector is any different, with UK and US headquartered firms continuing to set up in Australia.

By establishing brick and mortar operations from one or two locations across the country, firms have attracted the top talent in the market and provided a better service to their global client set. In particular, the implementation of globally leading infrastructure and systems has allowed lawyers to focus more on their delivery of advice and less on the laborious tasks.

Lawyers, irrespective of level, must be aware of new entrants and expanding firms in the market as it may be fundamental to their next career move or long-term aspirations.

A few factors of attraction / consideration:

International firms that have either entered (independently or through merger) or expanded their Australian presence in recent times:

*White & Case are expected to open in Sydney in the first half of 2017.

With no signs of slowing down, more and more firms are continuing to enter the Australian market or establishing further offices. Not surprisingly all of the firms have set up in Sydney (usually first) and Perth for a West Coast offering, however what is interesting is that none of them have an Adelaide office.

Given Allens has established a strategic alliance with magic circle firm Linklaters, Clayton Utz and MinterEllison are the only “big six firms” to not have clear links to internationally headquartered firms. Although it is important to note that MinterEllison have established offices in five countries to date. In order to maintain local market share and obtain geographical reach to other markets it will be interesting to note further entrants or mergers in the always evolving legal sector. 

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