Allen & Overy launches Aussie disputes group with hire of ex-Mallesons partner

Allen & Overy (A&O) has expanded its Australian practice to cover litigation and regulatory investigations with the appointment of Australian litigation lawyer John Samaha to the partnership.

Samaha began his legal career at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, becoming partner in 1995. He set up his own practice, Samaha & Associates, in January 2009, two years after leaving Mallesons. He joined A&O earlier this month.

Samaha’s practice focuses on commercial litigation and regulatory work. Over his 20-year career at Mallesons he acted for numerous Australian corporations and financial institutions.

Commenting on the appointment, A&O’s global head of litigation Tim House said that Samaha’s arrival is in line with the firm’s global litigation growth strategy and will significantly boost its Asia Pacific litigation capability.

The news comes after A&O announced half-year turnover of £582m, an 11 per cent hike from the same period last year (10 November 2011). The firm’s global managing partner Wim Dejonghe cited the firm’s Australian practice as being one of the strongest performing.

A&O is also currently discussing a joint venture with Allen & Gledhill in Singapore as it looks to expand its reach in Asia and Australasia (3 November 2011).