Australian firm Blake Dawson has dismissed the possibility of a merger with a UK firm, instead pledging to focus its attentions on Asia.
Managing partner John Carrington and chairman and IP partner Mary Padbury were in the UK this week to build on their ties with magic and silver circle firms.
But, while the firm is keen to develop the flow of lawyers between Australia and the UK, it has no desire to lose its independence.
“It’s not the reason we’re here and it’s not something we’re thinking about,” said Carrington.
The firm is instead focused on developing its footprint in North Asia and will open an office in Tokyo early next year. Melbourne Senior associate Natsuko Ogawa will lead the firm’s Tokyo practice, a strategic positioning that will look to work closely with the firm’s alliance partner in Jakarta Soebagjo Jatim Djarot to take advantage of the increased activity between Indonesia and Japan.
“There’s a lot of Japanese investment in Indonesia at the moment so we hope that by having people in both jurisdictions we’ll be able to help clients in these cross-border transactions,” says Padbury.
After that the firm’s eyes are fixed firmly on Australia, looking to expand in areas where it sees itself as having the competitive edge, most notably energy, project finance and IP, all of which remain strong in the downturn.
Blake Dawson also opened an office in Singapore in February adding to locations in Shanghai and Port Morseby, Papua New Guinea (27 November 2008).