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No. of Lawyers: 357
Allen & Overy is in the process of repositioning itself in southeast Asia. Back in 2008, the firm succeeded in the first round of local law licence applications in Singapore. However, it was still widely known to be in merger negotiations last year with local powerhouse Allen & Gledhill, after the Singaporeans split from their decade-long association with fellow-magic circle firm, Linklaters. Those talks subsequently fizzled out.
Simon Makinson, the firm's Thailand managing partner, describes A&O's southeast Asia strategy as “looking at the region as a whole rather than a hub-and-spoke approach”. Key to that is an association deal with Indonesian firm Ginting & Reksodiputro and 2012's Vietnam office openings in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
The firm was also one of the first English practices to take on the Australian market, although not through a merger.
Having gone into Sydney and Perth early, is the firm now bemused, concerned — or both — by the recent influx of English and US competition? “The issue of potential over-lawyering in Australia is raised a lot in the profession,” acknowledges Geoff Simpson the firm's Australia managing partner. “And I suspect some firms won't get it right and some models will fail."
The Asia Pacific profile is an edited version of a full write-up that appears in The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, a comprehensive analysis of the legal market in the region that ranks the top 100 local firms and leading 50 international players by headcount. For more information and to purchase your copy please click here.
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