Clyde & Co raids Linklaters ally Allens for Australia launch

Linkaters’ Australian alliance firm Allens has been hit by a team defection to Clyde & Co which is set to launch in the region in October.

Clydes is set to open two offices targeting contentious insurance and reinsurance work spiralling out of Australia with bases in Sydney and Perth.

The firm has poached a team of eight from Allens with three partners joining Clydes in Sydney, one in Perth, two in Hong Kong and a further two in Singapore. Clydes suffered the loss of a four partner team in Hong Kong earlier this year (4 April 2012) after being raided by RPC which formally announced the launch of a Hong Kong base on Friday (29 June 2012).

In a statement, Allens said that it had decided to focus on high-end corporate and strategic litigation work. Allens chief executive Michael Rose said: “Before we entered our alliance with Linklaters, we made the conscious decision to exit our insurance practice in Asia – the departure of a number of partners to Clyde & Co is the natural outworking of that.”

Clydes is a relative latecomer to the Australian market with a series of firms moving into the region. Most recently Herbert Smith confirmed it would fully integrate with Freehills after receiving the go-ahead at its recent partnership conference.

Clydes embarked on a plan for global expansion following its merger with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, with chief executive Peter Hasson telling The Lawyer last August: “There are still huge opportunities for transactional practices in the UK, and a huge opportunity internationally for all this” (8 August 2011).

The firm said it would look to expand in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Singapore and the US as part of a global strategy (24 October 2011).

Management board partner James Burns said of the Australia launch that the firm would follow a set expansion strategy as it did in Canada and US, poaching a team of partners from a rival domestic firm before investing in rapid growth. In Canada the firm tied up with local insurance firm Nicholl Paskell Meade (27 June 2011).