Clayton Utz and Minter Ellison refuse to close door on foreign mergers

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  • It's pretty clear that both firms will merge, at least once. The logic and the market direction is unavoidable. The only question is when.
    It is hard to see how either will benefit from waiting. At present they are both large firms compared to, say, Chinese but that is unlikely to remain the case for long.

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  • Hogan Lovells should leap upon this.

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  • Yes, the question is probably more 'with whom?' than 'when?'.

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  • Either of these firms would be insane to merge (except with each other), the field is there to play for - Herbert Smith, Ashurst, Norton Rose are inconsequential in the global legal market place (<1% of global premium market share each) - but have managed to exclude Blakes, Freehills and Deacons from any global referral work from firms that are the real deal - Slaughters, Freshfields, Skadden, Wachtell, Latham, Sullivan, Simpson, Cleary, Davis Polk, Weil, White & Case, Kirkland, Cravath, Shearman, Bredin Prat, Uria, Hengeler, De Brauw, the rest of the AMLaw 100 - the list goes on and on. Linklaters has cut Allens out of the same pool - and the King & Wood Mallesons frolic (weird as it is) must be toxic to any serious US player. No one has given any real justification for any of these mergers - but there's a simple lesson from the corporate world - poor management disguises its performance with M&A. Australian clients are NOT asking for this, 90% of Aussie work is domestic - there will be tears and blood at these merged firms for years to come. Talent be warned - get out now!

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