Categories:Australasia

Ashurst pushes for ‘yes’ vote on Blakes tie-up

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  • Seriously? Ashurst partners couldn't get their heads around combining with either Latham or Fried Frank (imagine Ashurst partners what you'd be drawing now if you'd had the vision to go with Latham, Beyond the Magic Circle) but management are supposedly pushing to be taken over by Australians. The two firms are roughly the same size but A merged Ashurst/Blakes will have MORE partners in Oz than Ashurst have in London by a long way. The Australians will be the dominant force going forward.
    There are other problems with this (a) Australia is NOT the gateway to Asia, ASIA is - Hong Kong/Singapore/Beijing/Shanghai/Seoul/Tokyo. Ashurst already have more lawyers in Asia than Blakes. This combination will add nothing to Ashursts Asian capabilities (b) the Aussie profits look good now but this is driven by the currency, which is driven by the massive weakness in the US dollar. Read the Australian press and at present the economy there outside resource projects is suffering. The currency WILL reverse out a lot of its strength and Ashurst partners will find themselves subsidising partners in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Canberra (c) this is not the time to do this sort of deal, the financial crisis is having its second coming - look at the banks throwing staff overboard, manufacturing in reverse, Greece will default, Spain will need a bailout, Italy as well.
    A&O and CC made targeted specific investments in OZ, why does Ashurst think that is?

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  • Blakes don't have an office in Hobart for the same reason that a prominent London firm like Ashurst should think twice about the Australian market...why bother?

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  • re anonymous 6.33am - I think you said it when you mentioned resource work... not always dependent on finance.

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